The Zika Virus has now spread to the United States with over 230 confirmed cases of pregnant women carrying the virus the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said. Although the CDC can spread awareness and tips for prevention, they said they can not disclose the location of the infected women.
Out of the over 230 confirmed cases of pregnant women carrying the Zika virus with some still being pregnant, 3 babies have been born with abnormalities consistent with the virus. Three additional babies who died before birth also had abnormalities consistent with the virus. It is unknown how many Zika infected mothers have given birth to babies without any abnormalities at this time.
The Zika virus is known to be spread to the pregnant woman by her being bitten by an infected mosquito or by an infected man transmitting the disease to the woman through sexual intercourse.
When a pregnant woman contracts the virus it can not only cause major complications to the her but also to the fetus. One of the major abnormalities Zika can cause to the fetus is microcephaly, which is characterized by an abnormally small head with incomplete development of the brain.
The risk to a mother carrying the Zika virus giving birth to a child with Zika-caused birth defects can be up to 15 percent CDC officials said.
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- Bebê_com_microcefalia_01: By Sumaia Villela/Agência Brasil [CC BY 3.0 br (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons