Zika Cases Reach 4,866 in U.S. and 35,415 in Territories, Primarily Puerto Rico
An update from the federal Centers for Disease Control's Arboviral Disease Branch shows the number of locally acquired mosquito-borne cases of Zika virus reported in the United States at 216, based on data gathered from Jan. 1, 2015, through Jan. 11 of this year. The total number of travel-associated cases reported stood at 4,649, with one reported laboratory-acquired case, resulting in a total of 4,866 infections. Of these, 38 were determined to be sexually transmitted.
In the U.S. territories, the number of locally acquired cases reported over the past two years reached a total of 35,280, with 135 travel-associated cases, for a total of 35,415. Puerto Rico alone accounted for 34,249 cases of locally acquired Zika virus and 132 travel-associated cases.
The CDC noted that sexually transmitted cases are not reported for U.S. territories "because with local transmission of Zika virus, it is not possible to determine whether infection occurred due to mosquito-borne or sexual transmission," according to the update.
State by state, updated statistics encompassing 2015-2017 show Florida had 210 cases of locally transmitted Zika, representing 97 percent of such cases in the U.S. (Texas, the only other state reporting locally transmitted infections, had 6 such cases). In terms of travel-associated cases, New York had the most (997 cases), followed by Florida (833), California (393) and Texas (290).
A related CDC report offered updated statistics on pregnant women showing laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection in the United States (including the District of Columbia), with the count at 1,292 as of Dec. 27, 2016. For U.S. territories, including data from Puerto Rico, the number stood at 2,842.
The CDC noted that these numbers are not comparable to previous reports, stating "these updated numbers reflect a different, broader population of pregnant women."
In terms of outcomes, the CDC reported that out of a reported 875 completed pregnancies by women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika infection in the United States, as of Dec. 27, 2016, the numbers stood at 36 live-born infants with birth defects associated with the virus, and five pregnancy losses with birth defects attributed to Zika.