CDC: Strong signs birth defects are tied to mosquito virus

The Zika virus is primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti, the type of mosquito responsible for spreading dengue, yellow fever, and a whole host of other tropical infectious diseases.

The mosquito-borne Zika virus poses only a mild risk to most adults, but it has been linked to a fatal birth defect in the babies of pregnant women who contract the disease. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.

"Out of an abundance of caution, pregnant women [are] advised to consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing", the CDC said in a statement.

The Zika virus is spread to humans through the bites of the Aedes mosquito, the same vector that causes dengue fever.

Zika is believed to cause microcephaly, or a dramatically shrunken head, in newborns, which prevents babies' brains from developing properly.

Pregnant women showing any symptoms of infection who have been to countries where the virus is circulating should get a test to make sure they're not infected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Healthcare providers should ask all pregnant women about recent travel to an affected area, the CDC advises.

There is no specific treatment for Zika virus.

Between 2007 and 2014, 14 cases of Zika virus were confirmed among travelers returning to the United States from South America, Petersen said.

In Brazil, most of the mothers who had babies with the condition - called microcephaly - were apparently infected during the first trimester, but there is some evidence the birth defect can occur later in the pregnancy, said the CDC's Dr. Cynthia Moore. Outbreaks have been reported in parts of the Caribbean and Latin America. Other common symptoms also include muscle pain and headaches.

The mother likely had Zika infection when she was residing in Brazil in May 2015 and her newborn acquired the infection in the womb.

The genetically modified mosquitoes don't spread disease because only the females bite. The virus has been found in the bodies of babies who miscarried and in the amniotic fluid of women whose fetuses had microcephaly.

Genetically modified mosquitoes could help Brazil combat the Zika virus, tests results released on Tuesday by a British biotech company suggest.

TAIPEI-The Zika virus has arrived in Taiwan, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said Tuesday, after a Thai national coming to Taiwan to work for the first time was confirmed to be infected with the virus.

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