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Spain has recorded its first case of a baby born with the microcephaly birth defect associated with the Zika virus. The mother was diagnosed in May and decided to keep the baby. It is the first such case in Europe.
A spokeswoman for the regional health authorities of Barcelona, where the baby was born on Monday morning by Caesarean section after 40 weeks of pregnancy, said the a woman infected with the Zika virus had given birth to a baby with the brain-damaging disorder microcephaly.
The mother, who has not been identified, reportedly caught the virus on a trip abroad. Authorities declined to say where, although a hospital source told the news agency Reuters she had been infected in Latin America, where the virus is prevalent.
"The baby did not require any resuscitation," Felix Castillo, neonatal chief at the Vall d'Hebron hospital in Barcelona, told a press conference. Its vital signs were "normal and stable," he said.
The baby's gender has not been revealed for privacy reasons.
A woman in Slovenia who was pregnant with a baby with microcephaly was previously found to have been carrying the virus, but she decided to have an abortion.
Tens of thousands of babies may be born with Zika-related disorders in the course of the outbreak that is sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean, researchers said on Monday.
Eighty percent of people will develop mild symptoms or never even be aware they have the virus, they added.
jbh/kms (Reuters, AFP)