THE NEW YORK TIMES – Zika Virus, a Mosquito-Borne Infection, May Threaten Brazil’s Newborns

A surge in the number of infants born with tiny brains has led Brazil’s health ministry to warn pregnant women to take extreme measures to avoid mosquito bites, which may infect them with a recently arrived virus. Some prominent obstetricians in Brazil now advise women against becoming pregnant at all.

The increase in microcephaly — an incurable form of brain damage — has been blamed on an epidemic of the Zika virus, which was unknown in Latin America before this year.

A few Zika infections have been detected in the United States in returning travelers. Those imported cases “will likely increase and may result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the United States,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned recently.

The mosquito species that transmits Zika virus are common in Florida and along the Mexican border, but the pathogen has not yet been found in them.

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