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By Gary Evans, AHC Media Senior Staff Writer
While it is now known that some babies born to mothers infected with Zika virus appear to be perfectly healthy, the threat of microcephaly and other birth defects no doubt weighs heavily on 279 pregnant women in U.S. states and territories facing the most horrific aspect of the emerging epidemic.
In surveillance figures that will updated weekly, the CDC reports that as of May 12, 2016, there were 157 pregnant women in U.S. states with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection. In U.S. territories, there were 122 pregnant women with possible Zika infection.
Public health officials are monitoring pregnant women with possible Zika virus infection – whether asymptomatic or symptomatic -- to better understand the progress of disease and estimate the risk of for adverse outcomes. An established cause of microcephaly and fetal brain abnormalities, Zika has the infamous distinction of being the first known mosquito-borne infection to cause congenital anomalies in humans.
For now there is more unknown than known about Zika virus and pregnancy, including these elements below the CDC lists as currently unanswered. According to the CDC, if a pregnant woman is infected with Zika, “We don’t know”:
For more information on Zika virus check out AHC Media's on-demand webinar: The Zika Virus: Separating Fact from Fiction – A Discussion with Experts. For all the latest AHC Zika coverage, please visit reliasmedia.com/Zika.