CDC issues travel guidelines for pregnant women | Science News

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CDC issues travel guidelines for pregnant women

Pregnant woman at airport

SAFE TRAVELS To avoid Zika virus infection, the CDC advises, pregnant women should steer clear of places the virus has cropped up, including many countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean.

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Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to much of Latin America and the Caribbean. That’s the advice issued January 15 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The goal is to prevent women from catching Zika virus, a mysterious mosquito-borne virus that has spread rapidly across Brazil in the last nine months. The number of infected people could be from 440,000 to 1,300,000 people, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has estimated.

Scientists suspect Zika virus may be to blame for the epidemic of birth defects Brazil has seen recently: From just October 22 to January 9 alone, 3,530 babies have been born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads.

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