(NBC News) More than two dozen in eleven states and Washington D.C. have tested positive for the Zika virus. All had recently traveled to countries caught in the middle of the outbreak.
Experts say the Zika virus is “spreading explosively” in Latin America, predicting as many as 4 million cases over the next year. Evidence is strong Zika could be causing pregnant women to miscarry or deliver babies with abnormally small brains.
That’s lead the Centers for Disease Control to warn pregnant women against traveling to Latin American countries and parts of the Caribbean, where mosquitoes are spreading Zika.
“It is likely that earlier in pregnancy, the first and second trimester, may be more risky, but we don’t really have all the information right now,” explains Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control.
Zika is mild in most people, sometimes causing headache, a rash, joint pain or red eyes. About 80% of those who get the virus won’t have symptoms, making it difficult to tell whether a pregant woman has been infected.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is poised to start very early clinical trials on a Zika vaccine this year, but it won’t be ready anytime soon.
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