Zika Virus is More Damaging During Early Pregnancy

The sooner a woman is infected with the Zika virus during her pregnancy, the more likely her baby will be damaged by the virus.

One study found that 6 percent of all babies born to women infected with Zika in the United States experienced damage. Even more babies, 11 percent, had damage from women infected early in pregnancy, NBC News reports.

Another study shows that the virus can stay and develop in the brain of a fetus.

Both studies give a better understanding of the risks of being infected with the virus during early pregnancy.

"Zika poses a real risk throughout pregnancy, but especially in the first trimester; it's critical that pregnant women not travel to areas where Zika is spreading," said Centers of Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom Frieden, NBC News reported.

Even babies born to women who said they did not show Zika virus symptoms were just as likely to be born with birth defects.

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Sourced from: NBC News