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CDC expands tropical virus alert; 22 destinations on list

6 years 8 months 1 week ago Friday, January 22 2016 Jan 22, 2016 January 22, 2016 11:41 AM January 22, 2016 in Health
Source: Associated Press
By: Lindsey Tanner

Health authorities have added eight tropical destinations to a travel alert about an illness linked with a severe birth defect and spread by mosquitoes.

Friday's update by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brings the total to 22 destinations, most in Latin America and the Caribbean, where there have been outbreaks of the Zika (ZEE'-ka) virus.

Added were Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Guyana; Cape Verde, off the coast of western Africa; and Samoa in the South Pacific.

The CDC says pregnant women should consider postponing trips to these destinations because the virus has been linked with a birth defect. Affected newborns have unusually small heads and abnormal brain development.

Zika illness can cause fever, rash and joint pain but most people infected don't show symptoms.

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