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December 19, 2016: Pregnant Women Should Avoid Zika-Hit TX Town

“Pregnant women should avoid traveling to a south Texas town that sits on the state’s border with Mexico, because five cases of local Zika infection have been reported there, U.S. health officials advised Wednesday.

“The town of Brownsville is still experiencing temperatures that are warm enough for mosquitoes to continue to breed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zika is transmitted primarily via the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, although it can also be spread through sexual contact.

“’We’re recommending pregnant women not travel to Brownsville, and if they do travel to that area, to ensure that they avoid mosquito bites and they avoid the risk of sexual transmission,’ the CDC’s Dr. Denise Jamieson said in an agency news release. ‘And that when they return from the area, that they undergo testing for Zika virus infection.’

“None of the Brownsville cases involve pregnant women, officials added.

“While most adults who are infected with the Zika virus experience mild symptoms, infection during pregnancy can have catastrophic consequences for infants. Thousands of babies have been born in Brazil and Colombia with microcephaly, a birth defect that results in an abnormally small head and an underdeveloped brain.

“In the United States, CDC officials have tallied 32 cases of Zika-linked birth defects in babies. Most of those cases resulted from infections picked up in Zika-prone countries in Latin America and the Caribbean

“‘We are working closely with Texas to gather and analyze new information every day. With the new information that there has been local spread of Zika for at least several weeks, we conclude that pregnant women should avoid the Brownsville area — and make every effort to prevent mosquito bites if they live or work there,’ said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. ‘Together with Texas officials, we are working to protect pregnant women from the potentially devastating effects of this virus.’”

Florida is the only other U.S. state that has reported local cases of Zika infection. But that state was recently declared Zika-free after 45 days passed without any new infections in the last active zone, located in South Miami Beach."

Source: Web MD

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