Infectious Diseases

26 July 2016

Doctors urged to check pregnant women for Zika

Officials are advising US doctors to ask pregnant women if they or their sex partner were in a Zika outbreak area – and they also suggest the use of a sophisticated blood test.

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US health officials are strongly urging doctors to ask all pregnant women about a possible Zika infection at every check-up.

So far, there have been no confirmed cases of a Zika infection from a mosquito bite in the United States, although officials expect mosquitoes will start spreading it in Southern states.

All US illnesses have been connected to travel to areas with Zika outbreaks.

Read: Zika virus: 14 things you need to know

The advice came as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention fine-tuned its guidance. It urged doctors to at least ask pregnant women if they or their sex partner were in an outbreak area, and suggested expanded use of a sophisticated blood test.

The Zika virus is mainly spread by mosquito bites, but also through sex. Infection during pregnancy can result in birth defects.

Read more:

Scientists analyse risk to pregnant women infected with Zika

Zika virus: pregnant women shouldn't travel to Brazil

Urine test could simplify Zika virus detection

AP