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CDC Releases Guidelines For Pregnant Women, Urges Testing For Zika

Update Date: Jan 21, 2016 10:27 AM EST

How pregnant women can take care of health in case of a Zika virus outbreak has been listed in a set of guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to The New York Times.

It is important that they should postpone visiting places where Zika virus has been reported, as the CDC previously suggested in a travel alert on Friday, according to HNGN.

Healthcare providers should ask pregnant women about their recent travel history, and those who went to infected places, especially those who show symptoms of the infection, should be "screened and tested", the CDC said.

The virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which also spread chikungunya and dengue. While 80 percent of patients do not exhibit symptoms, those who do might show acute fever onset, maculopapular rash, conjunctivitis and joint pains or arthralgia, which may last for a week.

"Pregnant women with a history of travel to an area with Zika virus transmission and who report two or more symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease ... during or within 2 weeks of travel, or who have ultrasound findings of fetal microcephaly or intracranial calcifications, should be tested for Zika virus infection in consultation with their state or local health department," the CDC guidelines state.

"There is no commercially available test for Zika virus. Testing for Zika virus infection is performed at CDC and several state health departments," the guidelines said. "Health care providers should contact their state or local health department to facilitate testing and for assistance with interpreting results."

While the first US baby with microencephaly has been said to have been born in Hawaii, two pregnant women from Illinois were also confirmed to have been infected during a vacation.

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