Zika Could Infect Thousands of Pregnant Women in Puerto Rico: CDC | NBC Southern California
Zika Virus Outbreak

Zika Virus Outbreak

Coverage of the spread of the Zika virus in the Americas

Zika Could Infect Thousands of Pregnant Women in Puerto Rico: CDC

Health officials confirmed more than 1,700 infections in the territory so far this year

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    AP
    In this Feb. 24, 2016 file photo, workers from the Puerto Rico Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention review Zika-related data collected by the island's health department and the CDC in San Juan, Puerto Rico. On June 17, 2016, the CDC warned that dozens or hundreds of babies in Puerto Rico could develop severe birth defects because of the virus, based on how an outbreak is playing out there.

    The zika virus is spreading quickly in Puerto Rico, meaning hundreds of babies could be born with birth defects, NBC News reports. 

    More than 1 percent of all Puerto Rico blood donations tested in early June tested positive for the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

    "In coming months, it is possible that thousands of pregnant women in Puerto Rico will catch Zika," CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said at a briefing for reporters. "This could lead to dozens or hundreds of infants being born with microcephaly in the coming year." 

    The CDC began testing for Zika in Puerto Rico in April. Health officials confirmed more than 1,700 infections in the territory so far this year. Any blood donations that test positive for the virus are thrown out.