Zika virus shows no signs of slowing down, as the number of pregnant women with laboratory evidence of possible infection in the United States and its territories took its largest jump yet during the week ending Aug. 25, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were 199 new cases of Zika that week: 159 in the U.S. territories and 40 in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The previous high had been 189 for the week ending Aug. 11. Cases in pregnant women for 2016 so far number 971 in the territories and 624 in the states and D.C. – a total of 1,595, the CDC reported Sept. 1.
The number of poor outcomes among pregnant women with Zika virus infection did not change for the week ending Aug. 25. The number of live-born infants with Zika-related birth defects remained at 17 – 16 in the states/D.C. and 1 in the territories – and the number of pregnancy losses with birth defects was still 6 – 5 in the states/D.C. and 1 in the territories, the CDC said. State- or territorial-level data are not being reported to protect the privacy of affected women and children.
Among the entire U.S. population, 16,832 cases of Zika have been reported to the CDC Arboviral Disease Branch in 2015-2016, with 5,304 reported for the week ending Aug. 31 (Puerto Rico retroactively reported 5,000 cases that had been identified between June 4 and Aug. 6). The states/D.C. account for 2,722 of total cases, and the territories have reported 14,110 cases, of which Puerto Rico accounts for 13,791, the CDC noted.
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.
Zika-related birth defects recorded 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.