HEALTH

8 babies with severe birth defects linked to the Zika virus born in Honduras so far

A nurse bottle feeds a newborn baby aflicted with microcephaly at a maternity ward of the University Hospital in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Honduras' health minister, Dr. Yolani Batres, says eight babies with severe birth defects linked to the Zika virus have been born in the Central American country. Some women who contract Zika during their pregnancies have given birth to babies with microcephaly, which leads to babies with abnormally small heads and improperly developed brains. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)

A nurse bottle feeds a newborn baby aflicted with microcephaly at a maternity ward of the University Hospital in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Honduras' health minister, Dr. Yolani Batres, says eight babies with severe birth defects linked to the Zika virus have been born in the Central American country. Some women who contract Zika during their pregnancies have given birth to babies with microcephaly, which leads to babies with abnormally small heads and improperly developed brains. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)  (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

Honduras' health minister says eight babies with severe birth defects linked to the Zika virus have been born in the Central American country.

Dr. Yolani Batres said Tuesday at a news conference that five of the babies with microcephaly were born this week.

Batres says there are 493 known cases of pregnant women who have been infected with the Zika virus in Honduras.

Zika is mostly spread by mosquitoes, but cases of sexual transmission have also occurred. Some women who contract it during their pregnancies have given birth to babies with microcephaly, which leads to babies with abnormally small heads and improperly developed brains.

The Pan-American Health Organization confirmed that through July 14, Honduras had not reported a case of microcephaly linked to Zika.

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