CDC Getting Serious About Zika Virus, Advisory May Come Soon

Pregnant women infected with virus may be at increased risk of having infants with microcephaly
Pregnant women infected with virus may be at increased risk of having infants with microcephaly

HealthDay News — Pregnant women in the United States may be warned against traveling to Latin American and Caribbean countries where mosquitoes are spreading a virus that may cause brain damage in newborns.

Experts say a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning against travel to areas with the Zika virus is warranted. The agency could make a final announcement Thursday or Friday, according to a CDC spokesperson. "We can't make these decisions in a vacuum," Thomas Skinner told The New York Times. "We're consulting with other experts outside."

It could be the first time the CDC advises pregnant women to stay away from a specific region during an outbreak, officials said.

The Zika virus first appeared in South America in May. Pregnant women infected with it may be at increased risk of having infants with microcephaly, The Times reported. So far, local transmission of the Zika virus has been confirmed in 14 countries and territories in the Western Hemisphere: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela.

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