The number of pregnant women with laboratory evidence of Zika infection jumped up a bit at the end of 2016, and the United States approached 40,000 Zika cases among all Americans at the beginning of the new year, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were 187 additional pregnant women with Zika virus infection reported in the 2 weeks ending Dec. 27, compared with the 136 new reports of infected women in each of the two previous comparable periods (Dec. 1-13 and Nov. 18-30). Most of the 187 new cases were reported in the U.S. territories, while 46 were reported in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. There have been delays in reporting, the CDC noted, so these cannot be considered real-time estimates.
The total number of Zika-infected pregnancies so far is 4,134, with 2,842 occurring in the territories and 1,292 in the 50 states and D.C.
For the 2 weeks ending Dec. 27, there were reports of two more infants born with Zika-related birth defects, bringing the total to 36 for the states/D.C. The CDC is no longer reporting adverse pregnancy outcomes for the territories because Puerto Rico is not using the same inclusion criteria. The number of pregnancy losses remains at five in the states/D.C., where it has been since August. Aggregated data from the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry show that there have been 875 completed pregnancies with or without birth defects, the CDC said.
The total number of Zika cases among all Americans was 39,987 as of Jan. 4, 2017: 35,152 in the territories and 4,835 in the states/D.C. Almost all of the territorial cases have occurred in Puerto Rico, according to data reported to the CDC’s Arboviral Disease Branch.
Zika-related birth defects reported by the CDC could include microcephaly, calcium deposits in the brain indicating possible brain damage, excess fluid in the brain cavities and surrounding the brain, absent or poorly formed brain structures, abnormal eye development, or other problems resulting from brain damage that affect nerves, muscles, and bones. The pregnancy losses encompass any miscarriage, stillbirth, and termination with evidence of birth defects.