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Zika Tied to Birth Defects in U.S.

Here’s to another reminder from the Wall Street Journal that pregnant women and women thinking of becoming pregnant should avoid travel to areas where Zika is circulating. The virus has been connected to birth defects in babies and fetuses of 6 women in the U.S. who were infected during their pregnancies, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three of the women gave birth to infants with birth defects, including brain damage and microcephaly. The others sadly lost babies with birth defects, either through stillbirth, miscarriage, or termination of pregnancy.

Based on recent studies on how Zika gets transmitted from the mother to the unborn child were all travel related. Women infected with Zika who were expecting contracted the virus while in a country where it was circulating. Two were infected through sexual contact. All together, 234 pregnant women tested positive for Zika as of last month (June 2016).

The scary fact is that the CDC reports that a pregnant woman infected with the virus in her first trimester faces a risk of 1% to 13% that her unborn child will develop microcephaly. The number of birth defect cases falls within this range (about 5%). Currently, Brazil has the highest amount of babies born with birth defects related to Zika. 


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