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Spain reports first case of Zika-linked microcephaly

Published 06/05/2016

A transmission electron micrograph of the Zika virus (Centres for Disease Control amd Prevention/PA)
A transmission electron micrograph of the Zika virus (Centres for Disease Control amd Prevention/PA)

Health authorities in Spain say they have identified the first case of the birth defect microcephaly in the foetus of a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus.

The health department for the north-eastern region of Catalonia said the woman travelled to South America some months ago and had contracted Zika and dengue. In a statement the department said the foetus has several malformations.

The Health Ministry confirmed on Friday that it was Spain's first case. It said Spain has identified 105 people infected with Zika, 13 of them pregnant women.

The mosquito-borne Zika virus can cause microcephaly, a severe birth defect in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and brain damage.

The phenomenon was first detected in Brazil, where experts say there are nearly 1,200 confirmed cases of microcephaly.

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From Belfast Telegraph