>> The Centers for Disease Control on Friday announcing 157 pregnant women in the US testing positive for the Zika virus. Another 122 testing positive in US territories such as Puerto Rico. The virus is spread by mosquitos and sexual contact, and the latest figure far larger than the government's last count of 110 confirmed cases as of May 11th.
That's because under a new methodology, the CDC is counting all pregnant women in the US and its territories who have tested positive for Zika. Whether or not they developed symptoms or complications in their pregnancies. Reuters' correspondent Bill Berkrot.>> Basically what we know is only about 20% of people who are biten by the mosquito, who get Zika, display the classic symptoms of rash and fever, red eyes, muscle aches.
That leaves 80% of people who don't know they're infected, who may have no recollection of symptoms. They wanna track those women too because of the potential for these devastating birth defects that Zika can cause.>> Pregnant women may be at the greatest risk. Zika can cause a birth defect called microcephaly in children born to infected mothers.
Infants are born with unusually small heads and severe developmental problems. The Obama administration requested $1.9 billion in emergency Zika funding from Congress. Republican lawmakers have so far only approved a fraction of that, allocating money on the basis of cuts to other programs, a move health officials have called inadequate.
Virtually all the Zika cases tracked in the US are patients returning from countries, such as Brazil, where the disease is more prevalent.