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CDC warns pregnant women to avoid 14 countries in the Americas

Staff writer ▼ | January 20, 2016
U.S. health officials issued a travel warning late Friday for 14 countries and territories exposed to the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been linked to a torrent of birth defects in Brazil.
Pregnant woman traveling
Zika virus   Territories exposed to the mosquito-borne virus
The travel alert targets pregnant women and those who want to become pregnant and follows reports that thousands of babies in Brazil were born last year with microcephaly, a brain disorder some associate with Zika exposure.

Babies with the condition have abnormally small heads, resulting in developmental issues and in some cases death.

The alert, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lists the following countries and regions in Central and South America and the Caribbean: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico.

The alert recommends that women who are pregnant postpone travel to those areas, and that women wanting to become pregnant consult their doctors before setting out on any trip to those areas. In all cases, the alert said, women should take steps to avoid mosquito bites.