A new CDC report found that 1 in 10 babies were born with birth defects to moms who had Zika.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has tracked Zika numbers from January 1, 2015 to the end of March of this year with 5,182 cases reported over that range.
Specifically the CDC’s report focused on 1,297 pregnant women in 44 states who completed pregnancies between December 2015 to December 2016. The women were invited to join the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry (USZPR) after being diagnosed as a method through which the CDC would be able to monitor the impact of Zika on both moms and their children.
The data looked at babies at birth and at 2, 6, and 12 months.
“These findings highlight why pregnant women should avoid Zika virus exposure,” explains the CDC. “The number of pregnant women with laboratory evidence of possible recent Zika virus infection and the number of fetuses/infants with Zika virus–associated birth defects continues to increase in the United States.”
The CDC recommends that pregnant women, regardless of the trimester they are in, avoid countries with Zika virus. This is especially relevant because, as per the study, all cases of babies born with birth defects were caused by women who’d become infected while traveling abroad.
Currently there is no vaccine against Zika and an overwhelming amount of people are exposed due to mosquitoes or unprotected sex.