The number of pregnant women in Florida who have contracted the Zika virus is growing, according to a new report out of the Sunshine State. Local health officials announced Wednesday that 80 women in various stages of pregnancy have tested positive in Florida for having the mosquito-borne virus that scientists believe originated in Brazil, local ABC affiliate WPLG reported Thursday.
While the new figure pales in comparison to the overall numbers statewide of nearly 600 travel-related cases and dozens of non-travel related cases, it is likely especially alarming for health officials, who have warned of serious health complications arising from a woman giving birth while she is infected with the virus. The child is at a high risk of being born with microcephaly, a birth defect which is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected.”
That’s exactly what happened Thursday when doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami announced a baby was born with the condition, according to WPLG. The hospital is currently treating 15 pregnant women with Zika, a doctor there said.