By Lauren Pastrana

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Maria Mendoza is your typical doting new mom.

She gives her baby plenty of attention, and so do her doctors.

That’s because Mendoza’s daughter, Micaela, was born with health issues related to the Zika virus.

Seven-week-old Micaela has scarring on her retina and calcifications on her brain.

Doctors say Zika is to blame.

Zika 101: Prevent Spread By Protecting Yourself

Mendoza was infected when she was three months pregnant.

“I cried a lot,” she said. “One always thinks the worst is going to happen because you don’t know what part of the brain was damaged.”

Mendoza contracted Zika in Venezuela and gave birth in Miami.

Dr. Marcelo Laufer, an infectious disease specialist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, has evaluated Micaela.

“She has cerebral calcifications, which are pieces of calcifying tissue in the brain, which means at some point that part of the brain was infected,” he said.

Micaela was eventually cared for and treated at UHealth.

Every day, Micaela’s mother does physical therapy with her, to make sure she develops good muscle tone.

She said the doctors are optimistic that with therapy and constant monitoring, Micaela will be fine, but they’ll have to monitor her for effects of the infection for years.

CBS News has learned 69 pregnant women in Florida have the Zika virus, but state health officials aren’t saying if those infections were contracted locally or while traveling abroad.

Miami mother-to-be Christina Frigo isn’t taking any chances.

“I was just terrified,” she told CBS4’s sister station WBBM in Chicago.

So, at 32 weeks pregnant, Frigo and her husband uprooted their lives in South Florida to ride out the rest of her pregnancy more than a thousand miles away in Chicago, at Frigo’s mom’s house.

Frigo says one pregnant friend thought she was overreacting.

“She was surprised to hear that I was taking such a drastic step,” she said. “She’s on her way to Boston right now.”

Both Frigo and her husband tested negative for the virus.

While not everyone can just pack up and leave, Mendoza says expectant mothers should be taking extra precautions.

“I would say to them to not leave their homes because it’s a situation that’s impossible to cope with,” she said. “It’s an anguish that will keep you awake.”

Lauren Pastrana

Comments (28)
  1. M. Taylor says:

    With all of the warnings – WHY DID YOU TRAVEL TO VENEZUALA WHILE YOU WERE PREGNANT?????????? Your actions are irresponsible! Then you came back to the US to give birth – and spread the virus to others.

    1. Minnie says:

      Could be ANOTHER illegal. Her baby is now an Anchor baby and we’ll be supporting them with our tax dollars.

  2. Luisa says:

    Ban travel to & from zika-infested countries … PERIOD

  3. Minnie says:

    Another immigrant (illegal?) bringing disease into America.

  4. tngilmer says:

    This is what happens when you believe the liberal canard that the Constitution allows birthright citizenship (it does not).

  5. GozieBoy says:

    So did she actually flee Miami or Venezuela to give birth?? I’ll bet good money on the latter. Now we get to pay all the costs.

  6. Yarply Twelve says:

    What gets me is that so may women, and men also run around half naked yet worry so much about getting bitten. Rather stupid to me. Yeah lets go to a mosquito infested area then run around with hardly any clothes on.

  7. Fwank says:

    I have no sympathy. Zika came to the US because of illegal immigration from South America. If you are pro illegal immigration you deserve to get Zika.

    1. Myrt says:

      I agree with you in theory, but NO ONE deserves this heinous disease.

  8. Brian Fejer says:

    The Republican Party’s 40 year WAR on women’s human rights is about to blow up in their faces. I strongly support Science, fetal tissue research, contraception, sex education, planned parenthood and Hillary Clinton! The right to a safe and legal abortion is not a religious issue, its a human rights issue. As long as the Republican Party continues to use religious beliefs to oppress American women, they are just as guilty of human rights violations as extremists who use Islam to commit atrocities against women and girls. ‪#‎ZIKA #PlannedParenthood @ChristianNation

    1. Philip Lencester says:

      I agree. Terminate all the undesirable babies (mostly brown and black now days) and rid the world of one of its most heinous scourges. Er, wait … Planned Parenthood is doing just that. Sorry, my bad. But you are right

  9. Stephanie says:

    do not buy the zika scare

  10. Rebecca says:


  11. Kelly says:

    Acquired at 3 months? Hmm….
    What else may have happened at three month gestation?
    This isn’t as clear cut as many would like to believe.
    Yeah… it is always a new virus.

    1. Patrick Bass says:

      Yet there is only anecdotal evidence linking the zika virus to microcephaly! This particular baby has unusual brain abnormalities not related to microcephaly.

  12. Jamie Klein says:

    More ignorant 3rd worlders bringing disease and destruction to our shores.

  13. Dav says:

    Sounds like CMV. Much more common and likely.

  14. 'Nother_son_'O,_Ursus_Rexx says:

    Re: “…Mendoza was infected when she was three months pregnant. “I cried a lot,” she said. “One always thinks the worst is going to happen because you don’t know what part of the brain was damaged.” Mendoza contracted Zika in Venezuela and gave birth in Miami.”

    I’m glad she’s made this…’adjustment’.
    That noted…
    I have an elective vasectomy, and given the 10’s, ‘O, 1,000 of adults ‘N, children who starve to death, day in / day, out on earth I’ve NEVER regretted it.

  15. Fritz-Von-Dago says:

    Mendoza thats a good hispanic name….Viva La Ziki!

  16. says:

    Illegal – the mom don’t even speak English !

  17. Require abortions. Otherwise you will have a generation of pinheads and there are not enough seats in congress for them all.

  18. Deport Maria and her $1 million / year parasite.
    Go home to your progressive utopian state of Venezuela, you filthy illegal alien squatter.