Zika Virus Is Still a Threat, Says the CDC


One in seven babies born about a year ago to mothers infected with Zika virus during pregnancy has at least one health problem potentially caused by exposure to the virus — some of which were not evident at birth, states a Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the CDC, laboratory results showed possible or confirmed Zika infection in about 2,500 pregnancies in the United States and 4,800 pregnancies in U.S. territories between 2016 and 2018. Many of the babies born to Zika-infected moms have not had recommended screenings for Zika-related health problems, which are essential to ensure early diagnosis, intervention, and treatment. For example, in 1,450 of these children who were at least a year old as of February 1, 2018, 95 percent had at least one physical exam after 2 weeks of age, but only 36 percent had the recommended eye specialist exam.

Although there are currently no areas in the continental United States where there is local mosquito-borne Zika transmission and the spread of Zika has declined worldwide, the virus continues to spread at low levels in nearly 100 countries and territories. The CDC urges pregnant women not to travel to areas where there is Zika risk and recommends that men and women who do travel to these areas wait at least three months before conceiving.

Sourced from: CDC