Costa Rica has registered its first case of a baby born with microcephaly linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the country's health ministry said on Wednesday.

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The health ministry described the case as "imported" in a statement, as the mother of the child is Nicaraguan and was thought to have contracted the virus in the neighboring Central American country.

The Zika virus was first detected in Brazil last year and has since spread across the Americas. The virus poses a risk to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects such as microcephaly. It has been linked to more than 1,800 cases of microcephaly in Brazil.