Colombia’s National Health Institute said Monday that it found no evidence to link the Zika virus with the birth defect microcephaly in the case of a baby born with the condition.
Babies born with this birth defect have smaller heads and sometimes brains that aren’t fully developed, which can result in life-long developmental problems.
The 27-day-old baby in the city of Soacha, bordering the capital Bogota, has been tested to explore the possible links between the ZIKA virus and the congenital anomaly.
However, the National Health Institute reported that according to the progress of the studies, no history of Zika was evident in the baby.
Microcephaly has continually been linked with the Zika virus particularly in the South American country of Brazil who have reported 1.5 million cases of the mosquito-borne disease.
But according to the Colombian health authority, the presence of rubella infection may also be responsible for the neurological condition of the newborn.
According to WHO statistics, Brazil has confirmed 583 cases of the birth defect, and officials are still investigating more than 4,000 other cases.
As the epidemic sweeps through Colombia, the country has registered 7,653 cases of Zika amongst pregnant women causing widespread fear that the congenital anomaly may follow.
Colombia is yet to confirm a case of Zika-linked microcephaly but the health minister stated last week that they are reconsidering their forecast of babies likely to be born with the rare birth defect linked to virus.
The government originally projected it could see some 500-600 cases of Zika-linked microcephaly. But it may take several more weeks, or months, for cases to emerge as signs of microcephaly may only be detected very late in pregnancy, experts have said.
In the department of Cundinamarca, there are 3,143 confirmed cases of Zika, among which there are 102 pregnant women.
The World Health Organization (WHO) — which has declared the rise in Zika-linked birth defects an international emergency — warns the virus will probably spread throughout the Americas except Canada and Chile.
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