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Pregnant women in US with Zika spikes

Posted at 10:25 AM, May 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 10:25:19-04

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of pregnant women in the United States infected with Zika virus is suddenly tripling, due to a change in how the government is counting cases.

Previously, officials had reported how many pregnant women had both Zika symptoms and positive blood tests. In a change announced Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will count all women who tested positive — regardless of symptoms.

There are now 157 pregnant women infected with Zika in the 50 states, up from 48 last week.

9 of those cases are in Florida.

The agency had worried that one type of blood test is too prone to giving a false positive test result if a women was infected with a different but similar virus.

Zika can cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other brain abnormalities.