The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that three women on the U.S. mainland have given birth to infants with Zika-related birth defects. The CDC’s latest report, released today, also said that three other women chose to abort after discovering that their fetuses had brain damage from the virus.
The agency did not elaborate on where the infants were born, in order to protect the privacy of both the women and their children. Today’s report was the CDC’s first official report on the outcomes of pregnancies where the Zika virus was a factor, though the agency has been tracking infected pregnant women since February. As of June 15, the CDC has had 756 cases of Zika infection reported to the agency. All but one of those cases were infected with the virus abroad (one was laboratory-acquired).
Of those cases, 234 are pregnant women on the mainland. The agency is also tracking an additional 189 pregnant women in Puerto Rico and other territories. The Associated Press notes that most of the pregnancies are still ongoing.
Despite warnings from health officials, Congress has yet to approve President Obama’s $1.9 billion budget for Zika funding. Though the Senate approved $1.1 billion in funding for research and prevention, the House only eked out $622 million, funding that was largely raided from Ebola programs. Senate Democrats called the bill “beyond reckless.”
In response to the House’s inability to fund research on an infectious disease that is already in America, the Obama administration redirected $500 million in Ebola funding to Zika research, but the CDC has been publicly adamant that it simply isn’t enough. Yesterday, House Republicans signaled that they might have (finally) reached a deal to pass the Senate’s funding bill.
Image via AP.