Global Independent Analytics

CDC says 157 pregnant women in U.S. infected with Zika

“This is not something we need to panic about. But this is something we have to take seriously"

Reuters reporting: Disturbing facts brought to light by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that 157 pregnant women in the United States and another 122 in the U.S. territories, specifically Puerto Rico, have tested positive with the Zika virus.

However, it doesn’t mean that we are on a verge of an outbreak, as only fewer than a dozen of the infected women have had miscarriages or babies born with birth defects, as stated by the CDC.

The most prominent of these defects is microcephaly, a condition marked by a disproportionally small head size among the infants, and can lead to severe brain abnormalities and developmental problems in babies.

But the danger still looms over us all, doubly so in underdeveloped or developing countries, as the virus spreads easily through the mosquito bites and unprotected sex, the latter being a problem in poor and religious societies.

To effectively combat the spread of the virus, U.S. officials have been clamoring for adequate research funding, development of new, better vaccines and diagnosis methods, and long-term studies of the children born to infected mothers in order to better understand the sexual transmission risk.

The President’s administration has requested $1.9 billion in emergency Zika funding, with the president himself telling Congress not to leave town before passing a Zika funding bill.

"Here's the upshot: This is something that is solvable. This is not something we need to panic about. But this is something we have to take seriously," Obama said. "Congress needs to get me a bill. They should not be going off on recess before this is done."

Only $1.1 billion have been approved by the U.S. Senate.

House of Representatives, however, voted to allocate $622.1 million financed through cuts to existing programs, such as for Ebola, which U.S. health officials have called inadequate and short-sighted.

By Stefan Paraber for GIA

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