The following is a statement from Dr. Raul Pino, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health on today’s announcement that a baby in New Jersey was born with microcephaly, a serious birth defect, and other complications caused by her mother’s exposure to Zika virus very early on in her pregnancy. This is the first confirmed Zika-related microcephaly case in the continental United States:
"This is an unfortunate turn of events for this infant and her family, and it’s also a stark reminder of the life-long, serious consequences that can occur if a pregnant woman contracts Zika virus. It is imperative that pregnant women, and women planning to become pregnant soon, postpone travel to Zika-affected areas. If travel absolutely cannot be avoided, extreme care must be taken to avoid mosquito bites: wear and consistently re-apply mosquito repellant, wear long sleeves and pants, sleep in air conditioning or in a dwelling with door and window screens. Due to the risk of sexual transmission, it is equally important that your male partner avoid mosquito bites, and if exposed, practice consistent abstinence or condom use for the duration of your pregnancy. While there is much about Zika that we are still learning, we do know that the potential risks for unborn babies are too high to not take Zika virus seriously."