Pregnant women in US with Zika spikes on new counting method

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. The number of pregnant women in the United States infected with Zika virus is suddenly tripling, due to a change in how the government is counting cases. In a change announced Friday, May 20, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will count all women who tested positive, regardless of whether they had suffered symptoms. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of pregnant women in the United States infected with Zika virus is suddenly tripling, due to a change in how the government is counting cases.

Previously, officials had reported how many pregnant women had both Zika symptoms and positive blood tests. In a change announced Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will count all women who tested positive — regardless of symptoms.

There are now 157 pregnant women infected with Zika in the 50 states, up from 48 last week.

Zika can cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other serious brain abnormalities. Recently published reports indicate that some pregnant women with laboratory evidence of a recent Zika infection but without symptoms have delivered infants with these defects.

The agency had counted only those who had suffered symptoms in part over concerns that one type of blood test is too prone to giving a false positive test result if a woman was infected with a different but similar virus.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s