CHICAGO Dec 14 The U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention on Wednesday has issued a travel advisory
warning pregnant women to consider postponing travel to
Brownsville, Texas, because of the risk of contracting Zika.
The advisory, issued through CDC's Health Alert Network,
follows reports of infections in five people living in the
Brownsville area who have contracted Zika through local
Texas is one of several U.S. states where Aedes aegypti
mosquitoes, which carry Zika, are present. Texas is the second
state within the continental United States to report local
transmission of the virus that has been linked to birth defects.
The CDC said there is currently no evidence of widespread
transmission of Zika, but temperatures are still warm enough in
the Brownsville area - located near the Mexico border - to
support mosquito-borne transmission of the virus, which has been
shown to cause birth defects.
The travel advisory says that pregnant women in the area are
at some risk of Zika, but the extent of risk is unknown. The
advisory applies to pregnant women, women of reproductive age
and their sexual partners who live in or have traveled to
Brownsville on or after Oct. 29, 2016.
The CDC urges pregnant women who have visited Brownsville
and their sexual partners to be tested for Zika.
A new study published by the CDC has shown that some 6
percent of fetuses or infants whose mothers were infected with
Zika during pregnancy developed birth defects, including
microcephaly, in which the baby has an undersized head and
The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to
light last year in Brazil, which has since confirmed more than
2,200 cases of the birth defect.
In adults, Zika infections have also been linked to a rare
neurological syndrome known as Guillain-Barre, as well as other
(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Bernard Orr)