EFEBogota

Colombian Sen. Jorge Ivan Ospina of the Green Alliance party, who is also a doctor, announced Tuesday the nation's first registered case of a baby born with microcephaly caused by the Zika virus.

"I have received the unfortunate news about the first baby born in Colombia with microcephaly caused by Zika. The Health Ministry must confirm it and take the appropriate steps," the senator wrote on his Twitter account, without specifying where the child was born.

Ospina had previously asked President Juan Manuel Santos to "give a speech warning about the risks of Zika and organizing citizens against the mosquito" that carries the virus.

He also explained that a baby "born with deformations" as the result of that "preventable disease, despite timely warnings, saddens the soul."

Up to the end of 2015, some 11,712 cases of Zika infection had been reported in Colombia, of which 1,834 were suspected and 297 affected pregnant women, according to figures of the National Health Institute, or INS.

The Health Ministry has not yet confirmed the case of Zika-caused microcephaly reported by Ospina.

The Green Alliance senator is very active in reporting situations that could affect Colombians' health, and last year sounded the alarm about the growing number of Chikungunya cases.

The Zika virus, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same that is a carrier of Chikungunya and dengue, was first detected in this country last October.

Zika is not generally life-threatening, but its infection of women during their first three months of pregnancy has been linked to cases of microcephalic newborns.

The disease can cause fever though not extreme temperatures, red eyes without secretion or itching, skin rashes with white and red spots, and, with less frequency, muscle and joint pain.