Published On: Fri, May 20th, 2016

More pregnant women affected by zika virus in the US than previously reported

zika-virusATLANTA - At least 279 pregnant women in the US and its territories have been infected with the zika virus, more than double the number most recently reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday.

To gain a more complete picture of the impact of zika virus infection during pregnancy, the CDC said as of Friday it will begin reporting the total number of pregnant women with zika virus infection from two newly established enhanced surveillance systems: the US Zika Pregnancy Registry and the Puerto Rico Zika Active Pregnancy Surveillance System.

As of May 12, 2016, the two zika virus infection surveillance systems are monitoring 157 pregnant women in the US states and 122 pregnant women in the US territories with laboratory evidence of possible zika virus infection. That is a total of 279 pregnant women in US states and territories.

The higher number reflects changes in reporting criteria rather than a sudden increase in US zika cases. It includes all pregnant women in the US and its territories who have tested positive for zika infection, whether or not they developed symptoms or complications in their pregnancies, the CDC said.

The previous numbers included only pregnant women who had zika symptoms or pregnancy complications and the new numbers therefore reflect a broader group of pregnant women -- pregnant women who have any laboratory evidence of possible zika virus infection, and whether or not they recalled symptoms -- compared with numbers previously reported.

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