Two Pregnant Illinois Women Diagnosed with Zika Virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says doctors should ask pregnant women about their travel and certain symptoms, and - if warranted - test them for Zika.

According to official, the person who has tested positive for the virus in Hillsborough County recently traveled to Venezuela and two Miami-Dade County residents traveled to Colombia in December.

About 80 percent of people infected with the virus do not show symptoms, but for those who do, the symptoms include acute fever onset, maculopapular rash, conjunctivitis and joint pains or arthralgia.

"Zika is spread by infected mosquitoes", said ABC Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser.

National health officials also recommended that pregnant women or women who could become pregnant avoid traveling to low-lying regions or take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a health advisory for the Zika virus, following the disease's appearance in Puerto Rico, and now Hawaii, according to the Associated Press. More information about Zika virus can be found on the CDC website.

The IDPH says the mothers contracted it while traveling overseas and physicians are closely monitoring their pregnancies and overall health. The Hawaii state Department of Health said the baby's mother likely contracted the disease while living in Brazil a year ago and passed it on while her child was in the womb.

The virus was discovered in fetal and newborn tissues of babies with microcephaly in Brazil.

The new guidelines, first reported by Reuters, lay out recommendations for doctors whose pregnant patients have traveled to areas with Zika virus transmission.

Researchers from the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Sao Paulo, Brazil, said the virus might have travelled to Brazil with athletes or fans during the 2014 World Cup, or possibly by way of South America's Pacific coast after an outbreak on Easter Island. Further information about the women has not been released.

There is no vaccine to prevent or medication to treat Zika, and most often, those infected do not require hospitalization. The disorder is characterized by a smaller than normal head and malformed brain.

The virus is transmitted through bites from carrier Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, the same kind that causes dengue fever as well as chikungunya. Symptoms can last from several days to weeks.

Sagging demand from China has undercut Latin America's export-dependent economies at the same time their currencies have been battered by the rising values of dollars and euros.

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