There are at least 672 confirmed cases of Zika in the United States, including 64 pregnant women. One Zika-related case of microcephaly has been confirmed in the state of Hawaii. Officials say local transmission is currently centered in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa. But they believe there will likely be local transmission in the continental United States in the coming months.
“I don’t expect there to be large outbreaks in the continental U.S.,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat, told White House reporters Monday. “I can’t give a number to how many cases, but I can say that we can’t assume that we are not going to have a big problem.”
About 40 million people travel yearly between the continental U.S. and Zika-affected countries. The administration says that as of last week, 33 countries and territories in the Americas reported active Zika transmission.
The administration’s efforts are focused on Puerto Rico, with 31 personnel from the Centers for Disease Control on the ground and a dengue field office converted to handle the Zika response — including mosquito control and surveillance and the education of pregnant women.
Some 5,000 kits have been distributed to pregnant women in areas where the virus is already spreading, Schuchat says. The kits include insect repellant, information on self-protection, condoms and vouchers for screening materials to keep mosquitoes outside the home.
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