Cases of Zika Virus In the U.S. Keep Climbing

June 7, 2016
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By now, the majority of parents are probably well-aware of the potential dangers of the Zika virus for pregnant women.

Unfortunately, confirmed cases of Zika in pregnant women are climbing in the U.S

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) this mosquito-borne illness has been linked to birth defects in babies whose mothers are infected during (and even shortly before) pregnancy. Microcephaly — a condition where a portion of the fetus’ brain does not form, resulting in an abnormally small head — is among these birth defects.

While Zika can’t be easily spread from person to person (although there have been cases of transmission through sexual intercourse,) it can spread rapidly through in hot and humid weather through a bite by an Aedes mosquito carrying the virus.

For a while, Zika was pretty much contained to Latin America and the Caribbean. However, more and more cases are being reported in the U.S. — even instances where a pregnant woman has given birth to a baby with microcephaly. So far, all of the cases were contracted while traveling abroad, meaning the Aedes mosquito that carries Zika isn’t here yet.

According to the CDC, there have been 195 cases in the U.S. and DC of pregnant women with any lab evidence of Zika virus infection. An additional 146 cases in pregnant women have been reported in U.S. territories. These stats are as of May 26.

As far as the general population is concerned, there have been 618 cases of Zika virus disease reported to ArboNET in the U.S. and DC, along with 1,114 cases reported in U.S. territories. These stats are as of June 1.

The CDC advises pregnant women to protect themselves against Zika by:

  1. Avoiding travel to areas known to be affected by Zika.
  2. Taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites
  3. Taking steps to avoid contracting Zika through sex.
  4. Seeing a doctor. Pregnant women who have recently traveled to an area with Zika should talk to a doctor or other healthcare provider about their travel — even if they don’t feel sick. It’s especially crucial to seek medical attention if a pregnant woman develops a fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes during a trip or within two weeks after traveling to a known Zika area.

Click here to learn more about what the CDC says parents should know about Zika.


  1. Idalia Lopez-Ramirez

    June 8, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Jony Ramirez

  2. Jennifer Leigh Sills

    June 8, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Jennifer Pearson Brackin

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