Number of pregnant Americans with Zika jumps to 279

On May 20, the CDC announced that two Zika virus infection surveillance systems — U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry and the Puerto Rico Zika Active Pregnancy Surveillance System — are monitoring 157 pregnant women in the states and 122 pregnant women in U.S. territories with laboratory evidence of Zika infection.

Prior to the announcement, the CDC reported there were 113 pregnant women with Zika in the U.S., according to The New York Times. The surge in cases is largely due to a change in reporting by the CDC. The agency is now including pregnant women with any laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection whether or not they experienced symptoms. Most of those infected with Zika are asymptomatic.

Margaret Honein, PhD, chief of the CDC's birth defects branch, told CNN the agency is aware of less than a dozen infected women experiencing adverse pregnancy outcomes like stillbirths, or infants born with congenital birth defects like microcephaly.

Dr. Honein said, "The CDC's top priority in the Zika response is protecting pregnant women and their fetuses."

Find out where Zika has been reported in the U.S. states as of May 20 here.

More articles on the Zika virus: 
Zika prevention education: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds CDC, PAHO effort 
Scientists collaborate to form OpenZika, a project to find virus treatment 
Zika funds: Obama says $1.9B, Senate says $1.1B, House counters with $622.1M

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