The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that in 2016, one in ten pregnant women in the US with the Zika virus had a baby or fetus with Zika-related birth defects. The results came from a US Zika Pregnancy Registry, developed in 2016 to track the illness when it came to pregnant women across the country and territories (with the exception of Puerto Rico, which had a registry of its own).
The report had documented over 970 completed pregnancy from January to December of last year. Five percent of all Zika-infected pregnancies were reported (51 cases), with lab proof of a potential Zika virus, and this also included six losses that could have resulted in termination, stillbirth, or miscarriage. This number hit 10 percent when it came to women with a confirmation of the Zika virus. Fifteen percent of US women who got the illness during the first three months of pregnancy (first trimester) reported birth defects. This goes hand-in-hand with previous research stating that gaining the virus during the early parts of pregnancy increases the risk to the baby.
Microcephaly, a condition where an infant’s brain does not develop properly, was reported as birth defects as well as other brain abnormalities. What may be even more dangerous is the fact that some effects of Zika on a baby don’t show up until later, and screening for all infants whose pregnant moms might have been infected with Zika is a must. Still, a recent report indicates that a mere 24 percent of babies born from Zika-infected moms were given brain scans after birth. CDC reported in March that birth defects related to Zika had almost increased by 20 times in 2016, compared to pre-Zika years.
CNN advised that the Zika pregnancy registry does represent all the states in America, however this CDC report reflects only 44 of the 50. The 51 birth defects included in the report were from mothers who were infected by visiting the 16 regions where the virus had hit an outbreak: Belize, Brazil, Barbados, Cape Verde, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haití, Guyana, Honduras, México, Jamaica, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the Marshall Islands.
As such, CDC advises those females who are trying to get pregnant or pregnant currently, to refrain from visiting the regions where Zika is circulating and the precautions when it comes to a partner visiting these areas, as the virus can be sexually transmitted.