Reconsider travel to Brazil, US officials say in latest Zika warning

US health officials on Friday said pregnant women planning to travel to Brazil for the Olympics should reconsider taking the trip because of the Zika virus.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called the outbreak in Brazil "dynamic" and recommended that pregnant women consider not going to the games, which are scheduled to take place in August.

The CDC said pregnant women who must go to the Olympics should talk to their doctor first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

The CDC also said it had confirmed nine cases of Zika in pregnant women in the US who contracted the mosquito-borne Zika virus while traveling. Two of the women opted to have abortions.

The CDC said in addition to the nine cases it is investigating 10 other reports of Zika virus disease among pregnant women who traveled outside the US.

The guidance also warned about sexual transmission of the Zika virus, saying women with a male partner who goes to the Olympics may be at risk for sexual transmission and should use condoms or abstain from sex during pregnancy.

The CDC said Zika had been confirmed in three women whose only known risk factor was sexual contact with an infected male partner who had recently traveled to an area of ongoing Zika virus transmission.

The CDC last month issued a travel alert advising pregnant women to consider postponing travel to areas with active transmission of Zika virus, which has been linked to microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.

The agency also said Friday the total number of travel-associated Zika virus disease cases reported in the US was 107. There have been no cases of Zika virus transmission in the US from mosquito bites or Zika virus–related hospitalizations in the US.

The nine pregnant women with the confirmed cases of Zika virus infections had traveled to at least one of the following nine areas with ongoing local transmission of Zika virus: American Samoa, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Samoa.

Two of the pregnant women have given birth to healthy infants, and one woman gave birth to an infant with severe microcephaly, the CDC said.

Two pregnancies are continuing without known complications, and two other pregnancies were early pregnancy losses.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25

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