Lab tests confirmed Zika infection in 250 of the women.
According to a report that was released Tuesday, 250 pregnant women had confirmed Zika infections in 2016, although almost 1,000 pregnant women in total from 44 states had some evidence of a recent Zika infection. In the cases of 60 babies whose mothers had confirmed evidence of Zika during the first trimester, 15 percent had birth defects, according to the CDC. So far, the state has reported 29 travel-related infections, two locally acquired cases and three cases with undetermined exposure in 2016 that were tested in 2017.
"Public health has a long history of combatting and eradicating mosquito-borne diseases, but ensuring robust epidemiological and laboratory infrastructure across the governmental public health system is critical to stay ahead of the spread of Zika virus", says Brenda Fitzgerald, ASTHO president-elect and commissioner and state health officer of the Georgia Department of Public Health. Fifteen percent of babies with birth defects were born to women who contracted Zika in their first trimester of pregnancy.
Of the 222 locally-acquired Zika cases in the USA, 45 were likely transmitted sexually and one by laboratory exposure.
Follow LifeNews.com on Instagram for pro-life pictures. It found no report of Zika testing for approximately 1 in 3 babies who had possible Zika infection in the womb. If there is concern about infant follow-up or if maternal testing is not performed, infant Zika virus testing should be considered.
"This illustrates the fact that, despite Zika awareness being high, there is still much clinical education that needs to occur for the U.S.to be able to effectively manage an outbreak", Adalja said.
Zika infection during pregnancy can severely harm the brain of the developing fetus, and result in a smaller head size, known as microcephaly.
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The researchers analysed data on almost 1,000 completed pregnancies in 2016 among women who had some evidence of Zika infection.
For starters, doctors still aren't sure about the full range of problems caused by Zika infections in utero.
'With warm weather and a new mosquito season approaching, prevention is crucial to protect the health of mothers and babies'. "Health-care providers can play a key role in preventive efforts", Schuchat said in a statement. "We're still seeing about 30 to 40 new cases in pregnant women in the United States each week".
It may be helpful to compare these Zika statistics to those for other viruses that cause birth defects.
She said by mid-April, the state will begin conducting a complex test for distinguishing Zika from related viruses, such as dengue and chikungunya, that previously only the CDC could perform. On these grounds, CDC is examining all pregnant women with proof of Zika infectivity. The report analyzed data from 1000 completed pregnancies among mothers with suspected Zika infection included in the agency's Zika Pregnancy Registry, for the period beginning January 15, 2016 and ending December 27, 2016.
Note that this surveillance data from the CDC suggests that roughly 10% of Zika-infected babies in the U.S. have a Zika-associated abnormality.
"Zika continues to be a threat to pregnant women in the U.S.", Schuchat said.