Zika 'bucket baby': Mother says 'nothing is impossible'

The mother of a Zika "bucket baby" whose pictures were seen around the world has spoken of her hope despite doctors' warnings over his future.

Solange Ferreira from Poco Fundo in Brazil had no idea the blotch on her skin and fever-like symptoms during pregnancy were a sign of the condition now prompting warnings of a global emergency.

It was only in December, months after her son Jose's birth, that doctors told her he had microcephaly - thought to be a result of the infection - meaning his head was far smaller than that of a typical child.

"I was about four to five months pregnant when I had Zika. I had pain in my body and some blotches, but only for one day," she said.

"The next day I went back to work because I worked until I was eight months [pregnant]. It was that blotch and that's it. I felt all right, I was normal."

The young boy was several months old before his condition was diagnosed. Credit: APTV

She added that "nobody said anything" when she got the ultrasound.

While little is yet known about the effects of microcephaly on children's development, early studies have suggested that it could mean serious brain damage and a limited life expectancy.

The link with Zika has not been confirmed, but suspicions are so strong that the World Health Organisation declared a global health emergency related to the virus on Monday.

Pictures of Jose being bathed in a bucket were published worldwide as fears over the virus spread.

Jose is calmed by being bathed in cold water. Credit: APTV

She says the method, which helps calm him, was discovered by accident.

Solange and Jose have moved closer to the north-eastern city of Recife in a bid to more easily access therapy, and to avoid her hometown's mosquito infestation.

Solange and Jose now live in Bonito, near Recife, in a bid to aid his treatment. Credit: APTV

In reality, however, her new town of Bonito bears no lesser risk of the insects and the viruses they transmit, such as Zika and dengue.

While she fears for Jose's future, she maintains hope, despite bleak warnings from doctors.

"I'd like to see him play and run with [other children]. I don't want him to be blind and paralytic; that's what [the doctors] say."

"He can be [disabled] but I think that with God nothing is impossible. I think he will not have that. I don't think so."