A new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) presents the latest findings on Zika infection in pregnant women and babies and the importance of prevention and early care. This report – the first to provide the analysis of a subgroup of pregnant women in the U.S. with clear, confirmed test results of Zika virus infection – includes an analysis of the nearly 1,300 pregnant women with evidence of possible Zika infection who were reported in 44 states in 2016. Most of these women acquired Zika virus infection during travel to an area with Zika.
Among pregnant women with confirmed Zika infection, about 1 in 10 had a fetus or baby with birth defects. Confirmed infections in the first trimester posed the highest risk – with about 15% having Zika-related birth defects. This report also highlights current gaps for evaluating and managing infants with possible congenital Zika virus infection. About 1 in 3 babies with possible congenital Zika infection were not reported to have been tested for Zika at birth, and only 1 in 4 babies with possible congenital Zika infection were reported to have received recommended brain imaging after birth. These findings underscore the importance of protecting pregnant women from Zika virus infection and among affected babies and the need for continued and follow-up care.