- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 16, 2016

Three babies born in the U.S. had birth defects that can be traced to the Zika virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its first-ever update on how the disease is affecting pregnancy outcomes.

The CDC also recorded three instances of pregnancy loss — such as miscarriages or abortion — in which the fetus had birth defects.

The new data is an outgrowth of Zika-related pregnancy figures the CDC began to compile earlier this year.

So far, 234 pregnant women in the states and D.C. and 189 in the U.S. territories have shown lab evidence of the mosquito-borne illness, which is causing some babies of infected mothers to be born with abnormally small heads or other problems.

CDC is reporting pregnancy cases weekly, and Thursday’s report marked the first time it documented instances of birth defects.

The CDC is not linking each case to specific states because of privacy concerns.

However, there have been two widely known cases of microcephaly in U.S.-born infants — one to a mother who lived in Brazil before giving birth in Hawaii, and one to a Honduran women who gave birth at a northern New Jersey hospital in late May.

The CDC has recorded more than 750 travel-related cases of Zika in the 50 states and D.C. overall, a handful of them through sexual transmission, though experts say the virus could puncture the mainland further once mosquito season ramps up.

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