St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) confirmed on Monday that a baby was born at the institution on Saturday, August 19, “with characteristics of microcephaly.”
SMMC Medical Director Dr. Felix Holiday told The Daily Herald the hospital’s specialists cannot conclude at this point what caused the microcephaly. However, he said the institution’s gynaecologist and paediatrician will perform further laboratory testing to evaluate all possible causes for the infant’s microcephaly.
“SMMC takes the privacy of its clients very seriously and will not share any detailed information of its clients,” he made clear.
This newspaper understands that the baby’s mother travelled from Saba to St. Maarten recently to deliver here. The mother is said to have been very surprised and shocked about her new-born, as there was no indication of her baby’s condition during prenatal care.
Health Minister Emil Lee said on Sunday that he was travelling and had not heard of the case, but he will check into it.
The baby’s gender could not be ascertained.
Microcephaly is a congenital malformation resulting in smaller-than-normal head size for age and sex in infants. It has also been associated with other birth defects and neurologic conditions in children and adults. For infants diagnosed with microcephaly, head size correlates with underlying brain size. However, these measurements do not consistently predict long-term sequels.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control there is scientific consensus that Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly.
The Daily Herald.