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Dominican Republic has 3 babies with birth defect from Zika

By on August 26, 2016

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JANUARY 27:  Dr. Vanessa Van Der Linden, the neuro-pediatrician who first recognized and alerted authorities over the microcephaly crisis in Brazil, measures the head of a 2-month-old baby with microcephaly on January 27, 2016 in Recife, Brazil.  The baby's mother was diagnosed with having the Zika virus during her pregnancy. In the last four months, authorities have recorded close to 4,000 cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants. The ailment results in an abnormally small head in newborns and is associated with various disorders including decreased brain development. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Zika virus outbreak is likely to spread throughout nearly all the Americas. At least twelve cases in the United States have now been confirmed by the CDC.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Dr. Vanessa Van Der Linden, the neuro-pediatrician who first recognized and alerted authorities over the microcephaly crisis in Brazil, measures the head of a 2-month-old baby with microcephaly on January 27, 2016 in Recife, Brazil.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The Dominican Republic has reported its first three cases of babies born with a birth defect linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Health Ministry officials say three babies were born with the condition known as microcephaly. The babies were born in June and July but it took time to confirm the condition and the link to the Zika virus in the mothers.

None of the mothers recalled having symptoms of Zika, which include fever, rash, joint pain and reddened eyes. Micrcocephaly is a defect in which a baby’s head does not develop fully and is smaller than expected.

Health Minister Altagracia Guzman urged women Thursday to avoid pregnancy for the rest of the year and through early 2017 due to the risks of Zika.

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