1st child born in US to mom with Zika now thriving in New Jersey

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ByToni Yates via WABC logo
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
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The first baby born in New Jersey to a mom with Zika virus is now thriving as her family hopes to stay in the U.S. for treatment. Toni Yates has the story.

BAYONNE, New Jersey (WABC) -- It was six years ago that the mosquito-borne illness Zika was a major concern.

If a pregnant woman was infected, her child faced the risk of being born with a small head, brain damage or other birth defects.

Darah was the first child born in the U.S. to a mother with Zika in Hackensack, New Jersey, in 2016.

She has undergone extensive medical care which continues to this day. Thanks to the treatments, Darah is now thriving.

Her mother is grateful that her child, born with Zika, has access to the medical options in the United States.

"She's seeing more specialists now because she has she has different types of needs," Claudia Fumes said.

Fumes was bitten by an infected mosquito when she was pregnant. Eyewitness News covered Darah's birth at Hackensack University Medical Center in 2016.

Every two years, the family must renew a special medical pass that allows them to stay in the U.S. for Darah's well-being.

Fumes said taking her back to their home country of Honduras would begin a nightmare.

"We wouldn't have doctors and specialists that would help her, nor hospitals either, in our country, they don't have schools for kids like Darah so Darah would be in a bed just laying down," Fumes said.

But treatment is working, and with progress like that, the family is optimistic they will be allowed to stay.

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