Zika Virus Found in 20 Latin American Countries and Samoa

Kimberly RipleyLife

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The Zika virus, which may cause a birth defect called microcephaly, has been found in 20 Latin American countries as well as the south Paciific country of Samoa. Carried by mosquitoes, doctors and researchers fear it will spread even further.

NBC News reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reiterated its warning on Friday that pregnant women shouldn't travel to any of the countries where the Zika virus has spread.

A team of Brazilian researchers who studied the Zika virus say 35 babies whose mothers were diagnosed with the virus were born with microcephaly. Microcephaly causes underdeveloped brains and heads.

There is much left to learn about the Zika virus, but in the meantime pregnant women should definitely heed the CDC's warning.

Those countries where people have test positive for the Zika virus are Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, and Venezuela. Samoa, in the south Pacific, has just recently reported Zika for the first time.

Are you pregnant? Have you discussed the Zika virus with your obstetrician?

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.