A BABY has been born to a woman in Spain affected by the tropical Zika virus, medics have just confirmed.
The infant, who was born prematurely, is still in hospital a month after the birth and under close observation, but it is not yet known whether the child has caught the virus from the mother.
As yet, no sign of an underdeveloped brain – believed to be a side-effect suffered by babies whose mothers had the virus in pregnancy – has been reported.
The woman in question was between four and five months pregnant when she went on a trip to Venezuela, believed to be her home country, but was not aware of having caught the virus or having been bitten by the tropical Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
It was only when her obstetrician, at a hospital in the north-western region of Galicia, was reviewing the mother's medical history whilst she was in labour that a 'suspicious episode' came to light on the documents.
Medics immediately had tests carried out on her, which showed up positive for the Zika virus.
Standard procedure outlined by Galicia's regional health authority involves taking a series of samples from the mother, baby and the umbilical cord, and sending these to the National Microbiology Centre in Madrid.
This process was carried out a fortnight ago, but medics are waiting to hear from the centre whether or not the baby is infected.
Person-to-person contact is not thought to cause Zika to spread, although cases have recently been reported in the USA of its having been sexually-transmitted.