The first pregnancy losses with Zika-related birth defects since last summer were reported March 14 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Two new cases were reported to the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry between Feb. 21 and March 14 – the time period covered by the most recent release of data from the CDC. That brings the total number of Zika virus–related pregnancy losses to seven since the beginning of 2016 in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with 54 liveborn infants with Zika-related birth defects. The CDC stopped reporting adverse pregnancy outcomes in Puerto Rico and the other U.S. territories in early October 2016 because Puerto Rico’s Zika Active Pregnancy Surveillance System is not using the same inclusion criteria as its mainland counterpart.
These are not real-time data and reflect only pregnancy outcomes for women with any laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection, although it is not known if Zika virus was the cause of the poor outcomes. Zika-related birth defects recorded by the CDC could include microcephaly, calcium deposits in the brain indicating possible brain damage, excess fluid in the brain cavities and surrounding the brain, absent or poorly formed brain structures, abnormal eye development, or other problems resulting from brain damage that affect nerves, muscles, and bones. The pregnancy losses encompass any miscarriage, stillbirth, or termination with evidence of birth defects.