(HealthDay News) — In order to avoid having infants with Zika-related birth defects, women living in areas where the virus is circulating should consider delaying pregnancy, according to the World Health Organization.

Zika transmission is occurring or expected in 46 Latin American and Caribbean countries. Currently, the only parts of the United States with local transmission of the mosquito-borne virus are Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, but cases are expected to appear in Florida and along the Gulf Coast this summer, The New York Times reported.

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Five countries and the health secretary of Puerto Rico have issued similar advice about delaying pregnancy.

However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decided against this kind of recommendation, saying government health officials should not interfere with personal decisions best made by couples, The Times reported.

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