MMWR: Pregnancy Outcomes Following Zika Virus Infection during Pregnancy in the U.S. Territories

In a follow up to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Zika and birth defects in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, the agency just released a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examining “Pregnancy Outcomes After Maternal Zika Virus Infection During Pregnancy — U.S. Territories, January 1, 2016–April 25, 2017.”

This report provides new information on 2,549 cases of pregnant women with possible Zika virus infection who completed their pregnancies in the U.S. territories. Data from January 1, 2016 to April 25, 2017 were reported to the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry and the Puerto Rico Zika Active Pregnancy Surveillance System from American Samoa, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This report is the first from the US territories to provide results of an analysis of data reported to the Zika pregnancy and infant registries. Also, this report represents the largest number of completed pregnancies with laboratory confirmation of Zika virus infection to date. Key findings include:

  • Nearly 1,508 women had confirmed Zika virus infection, and 5% of their fetuses and infants had birth defects potentially associated with Zika virus infection.
  • Eight percent with confirmed infection in the first trimester had fetuses or infants with birth defects, compared to 5% and 4% in the second and third trimesters, respectively
  • Of the 2,464 live-born infants, 59% had testing reported for Zika virus infection, 52% were reported to have received head imaging and 79% had a reported hearing screening at birth.

CDC continues to encourage women and their partners considering pregnancy who live in or travel to areas with risk of Zika to talk to their healthcare providers so that they know the risks and ways to prevent exposure. CDC has published updated clinical guidance for healthcare providers caring for pregnant women, babies, and children with possible Zika virus infection.

Read the full report and learn more about the latest guidance, testing, and training information for Zika. 

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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