The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that it is monitoring 279 pregnant women with likely Zika virus infections across U.S. states and territories. The largest number of cases by far are in Puerto Rico, where officials are keeping tabs on 122 pregnant women. But they also are tracking 157 other pregnant women across the country.
“One challenge of this Zika virus outbreak is the lack of understanding of the magnitude of risk and the spectrum of outcomes associated with Zika virus infection during pregnancy,” researchers wrote in a report published Friday. The surveillance effort, they noted, is expected to change that, “enhance risk assessment and counseling of pregnant women and families, advance clinical care, and assist states and territories to anticipate and plan needed resources and increase prevention efforts.”
The report does not detail the outcomes of any pregnancies currently being monitored but says that information “will be shared in future reports.” Researchers said the agency will begin posting a weekly update on the number of cases being watched.