Zika virus shows no signs of slowing down


Zika virus transmission continues at a rapid clip as the number of new cases among pregnant women topped 200 again for the week ending Sept. 22, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After setting a new high of 210 the previous week, there were 201 new cases of pregnant women with laboratory-confirmed Zika infection for the week ending Sept. 22. There were 59 new cases in the 50 states and the District of Columbia and 142 new cases in the U.S. territories, the CDC reported Sept. 29. In the United States this year, there have been 2,298 reported cases of Zika-infected pregnant women: 808 in the states and D.C. and 1,490 in the territories.

The 21st liveborn infant with Zika-related birth defects was reported in the 50 states/D.C. for the week ending Sept. 22, but no new cases were reported in the territories, and there were no new Zika-related pregnancy loses anywhere in the United States. The number of liveborn infants with birth defects is now 22, and there have been six pregnancy losses: five in the states/D.C. and one in the territories, the CDC said on Sept. 29.

Among all Americans, there were 2,559 new cases of Zika infection as of Sept. 28 – 267 in the states/D.C. and 2,292 in the territories – although Puerto Rico continues to retroactively report cases, which has been pushing the numbers higher in recent weeks. There have been 25,694 total cases of Zika infection in 2015-2016, the CDC reported.

Zika-related birth defects reported by the CDC could include microcephaly, calcium deposits in the brain indicating possible brain damage, excess fluid in the brain cavities and surrounding the brain, absent or poorly formed brain structures, abnormal eye development, or other problems resulting from brain damage that affect nerves, muscles, and bones. The pregnancy losses encompass any miscarriage, stillbirth, and termination with evidence of birth defects.

The figures for states, territories, and D.C. reflect reporting to the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry; data for Puerto Rico are reported to the U.S. Zika Active Pregnancy Surveillance System.

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