"The mother is stable, obviously sad, which is the normal emotional reaction given the situation," said Dr. Abdulla Al-Khan, director of maternal and fetal medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center.
The mother is visiting the United States
from Honduras and does not want to be identified.
This is the second known case of a baby born with Zika-related birth defects in the United States. The first baby was born in Hawaii
Doctors first examined the mother when she came to the medical center Friday. Ultrasound screening revealed the baby had "significant microcephaly," he said. Babies with microcephaly have small brains and heads.
The baby also had calcification and dilated ventricles in the brain, according to Al-Khan.
Tests were done to rule out other causes of these abnormalities.
"When I saw her today, I was pretty much convinced this was a Zika-affected baby,
" he said.
The mother, who has relatives in New Jersey, traveled to the United States from Honduras in hopes of receiving better medical care because she knew her baby may have Zika-related problems, according to Al-Khan.
Doctors believe she was infected during the second trimester of her pregnancy. She experienced a fever and rash, both symptoms of the mosquito-borne disease, which is known to cause the devastating birth defect microcephaly and other neurological disorders.
"When she developed the symptoms, she was seen by an OBGYN who suspected the baby was growth restricted," he said.
Doctors there coordinated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test the woman for the Zika virus.
The samples were sent to the CDC and results confirming the diagnosis of the virus came back Tuesday, according to Al-Khan. However, he said, that was not a factor in the mother undergoing a cesarean section to deliver.
Close to due date
The mother was close to full-term in her pregnancy.
"There were a few reasons the baby needed to be delivered today, including low amniotic fluid," he said.
Al-Khan said such babies have "tremendous neurological problems," and most don't do well.
There are more than 300 pregnant women with the virus in the United States and its territories who are being followed as part of a national registry
Information on the outcomes or stages of these pregnancies has not been released. In February, the CDC released a report detailing the first nine pregnancies among Zika-infected women in the United States.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Dr. Abdulla Al-Khan's name.