320 pregnant women in US infected with Zika

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The CDC is now monitoring 320 pregnant women in the U.S. with laboratory evidence of Zika infection, according to a recent update from the agency. Previous CDC reportage placed the number of infected pregnant women in the nation at 287. In the U.S., seven infants have already been born with birth defects associated with the virus.

"The vast majority of these pregnancies have not yet come to term," Tom Frieden, MD, director of the CDC, told reporters Thursday, according to ABC News. "Those that have come to term are those with infections occurring later on in pregnancy, when we believe the risk [of birth defects including microcephaly] is lower."

As of Wednesday, according to the CDC, approximately 1,133 cases of Zika have been diagnosed in the U.S. since the outbreak began. The overwhelming majority of these infections were acquired during travels to regions experiencing local transmission of the virus. Fourteen infections were transmitted sexually and one was acquired accidentally in a laboratory.

Recently, Dr. Frieden referred to the Zika epidemic as an "invisible crisis." Congressional gridlock has stalled legislation that would grant the agency emergency funding to combat the spread of the virus in vulnerable U.S. states and territories. Polls have found U.S. citizens are less concerned about Zika than previous epidemics.

"It's a tragedy for each family affected," said Dr. Frieden, according to ABC. "Hundreds and hundreds of American women [are] dealing with this."

More articles on the Zika virus: 
CDC, EPA urge Puerto Rico to start aerial spraying to fight Zika mosquitoes  
WHO recommends use of polio detection systems to combat Zika-related disorder  
Sanofi, U.S. Army partner to speed up Zika vaccine development 

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