Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Jamaica records first Zika-related microcephaly

Published:Thursday | January 19, 2017 | 1:00 AM
Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr Winston De La Haye.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that Jamaica has recorded its first case of microcephaly, believed to have been caused by the Zika virus infection.

The child was delivered in December last year at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston. The child's mother reportedly developed symptoms of rash and high fever throughout her pregnancy, chief medical officer Dr Winston De La Haye said.

Last night, the health ministry promised to release further details on the matter later this week, as well as give an update on the Zika virus in Jamaica.

Microcephaly is a medical condition that causes babies to be born with small heads and underdeveloped brains.

Last year, the ministry disclosed that all pregnant women would be tested for the Zika virus, which was first detected in Jamaica last January.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton had said, "When a woman is tested positive for being pregnant and she has to go through the initial stages of testing, we are going to require her to also do a Zika test so that we can track, as part of the monitoring."

The unborn child is at high risk of developing microcephaly once the pregnant woman has been infected with the Zika virus.