(Barbados Nation) The Ministry of Health is investigating the cause of microcephaly in two babies delivered at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital this week. In a statement, the ministry said that the doctors at the QEH are carrying out investigations to determine whether the birth defects are linked to the Zika virus or cytomegalovirus infection during pregnancy.
The statement added: “Microcephaly is a birth defect in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.
“On average, two to three babies are born with microcephaly every year, unrelated to Zika, in Barbados. To date, there has been no increase in the number of newborns with microcephaly. Additionally, no children born to mothers who tested positive for Zika have been diagnosed with microcephaly.
“Pregnant women suspected or confirmed with Zika infection are monitored at the high-risk antenatal clinic at the QEH, and these two cases of microcephaly were not among those being monitored. Currently, 14 pregnant women have been identified with the Zika Virus; of these seven have given birth and there were no obvious birth defects detected in those babies”.