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CDC: New Method of Identifying Pregnant Women With Zika Virus

Last Updated: May 20, 2016.

The number of pregnant women in the United States infected with the Zika virus has just tripled because cases are now being counted in a more comprehensive way, federal health officials said Friday.

FRIDAY, May 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The number of pregnant women in the United States infected with the Zika virus has just tripled because cases are now being counted in a more comprehensive way, federal health officials said Friday.

So far, a total of 279 infected women are being followed in the United States and its territories, according to two registries that have been created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Previously, only cases of pregnant women who had Zika-related symptoms or pregnancy complications were being tallied, CDC officials said. But recently published reports have found that some pregnant women show no symptoms of Zika infection, yet still give birth to babies with microcephaly.

"These updated numbers reflect all pregnant women in the United States and territories with any laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection, regardless of whether they had symptoms," Margaret Honein, M.D., chief of the birth defects branch at the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said during a Friday morning media briefing.

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