The California Department of Public Health announced Thursday the birth of two babies with Zika-related defects in the state. As of July 29 there were 114 cases of travel-associate Zika virus reported in 12 California counties and zero cases of locally-acquired infection. Of those 114 infections 21 are pregnant women.
The department will not report where the babies were born.
“This is a sobering reminder for Californians that Zika can cause serious harm to a developing fetus,” says CDPH Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “We join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in urging pregnant women to avoid travel to areas with known Zika transmission. Pregnant women who must travel to one of these areas should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and speak with a health care provider upon return.”
Zika infection often displays no or mild symptoms. The virus can be transmitted sexually and travelers returning from countries where Zika is common are encouraged to use condoms.
“Both men and women of childbearing age should take precautions if they have recently traveled, or plan to travel, to a location where Zika is spreading,” says Smith.
More information on Zika in California can be found at California Department of Public Health website.