PORT-AU-PRINCE – Haiti has identified its first case of the birth defect microcephaly linked to the Zika virus, a senior health ministry official said on Tuesday.
Gabriel Thimothe, director general at the ministry of public health and population, said the case was confirmed on Saturday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In total, Haiti has confirmed 14 cases of the birth defect since March, another senior health ministry official said.
U.S. health officials have concluded that Zika infections in pregnant women can cause microcephaly. The World Health Organization has said there is strong scientific consensus that Zika can also cause Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome that causes temporary paralysis.
The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light last fall in Brazil, which has now confirmed more than 1,600 cases of microcephaly that it considers to be related to Zika infections in the mothers.