— -- The mother of an infant born in New Jersey with microcephaly said a doctor in her home country of Honduras told her everything would be “fine” after she reported having a fever earlier in her pregnancy.
Speaking to Fox News Latino from her bed at Hackensack University Medical Center, the unidentified woman said she initially didn’t realize she had caught the Zika virus and told her doctor she thought she had an allergic reaction.
She reported feeling feverish with a rash in December.
“He asked if I had a fever,” she told Fox News in Spanish. “I said I had had a little fever but it was very brief, only for about an hour.”
After she was diagnosed with a Zika virus infection, she said, her doctor asked whether she had other symptoms of Zika, including conjunctivitis.
“I said no,” she told Fox News. “He said, ‘Don’t worry. Everything will be fine. I don’t think you will be affected.’ Then I had an ultrasound, and everything looked fine.”
It’s unclear when the woman arrived in New Jersey and when U.S. doctors realized her baby had microcephaly.
She gave birth Tuesday via cesarean section to an infant suspected of having Zika-related microcephaly. Doctors told reporters Wednesday the infant was on intravenous nutrition and said it was too early to determine the child’s probable life expectancy.
Medical officials at Hackensack University Medical Center said they are helping the mother deal with the trauma and the difficulty of giving birth to an infant with microcephaly, Dr. Abdulla al-Khan, the hospital’s director of maternal-fetal medicine and surgery, told reporters Wednesday.
“I think this has been rather difficult for the family,” he said. “To me, this is, quite frankly, catastrophic ... This is a time for us to get together, unite and do everything possible to combat the condition.”
The patient said other mothers should be careful as Zika continues to spread throughout various countries.
“It’s a reality we’re living,” she said. “Sometimes we can underestimate things, but when it’s your turn to be in that situation, that’s the hard part.”