The US has reported its first case of a baby born with a birth defect linked to the virus.
Yesterday, the Brazilian city of Piracicaba said it would expand the use of genetically modified mosquitoes to fight Aedes aegypti, the species that spreads dengue and chikungunya as well as the Zika virus. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has now issued a travel warning for pregnant women, and women trying to become pregnant: stay away from 14 areas, including popular holiday spots in Central and South America. But it's been spreading around the world, and there's mounting evidence linking it to a awful birth defect, especially in Brazil. Zika causes only a mild illness in most people.
Health officials in Jamaica have advised women to delay pregnancy for six to 12 months while in Brazil officials have been telling women to consider not falling pregnant until more is known about the dangers to newborns.
CDC has also developed interim Zika virus guidelines for health care providers in the United State caring for pregnant women.
Babies who develop microcephaly in the womb may not live to full term, may be born prematurely, may be still born or may survive, but with life-long disability.
Two cases of Zika virus in Florida have been confirmed to be in Miami-Dade County, according to the Florida Department of Health.
On Friday, the CDC issued a general travel alert for Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.
She said the biggest concern about the virus is for woman of childbearing age because research has shown a link between the disease and an increase in babies being born with microcephaly, a condition in which children are born with damaged, smaller than normal brains.
Physicians are monitoring the women's health and pregnancies, health department said.
"Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite both indoors and outdoors, mostly during the daytime; therefore, it is important to ensure protection from mosquitoes throughout the entire day", CDC noted.
Only 25 percent of those infected by the Zika Virus see symptoms, Goldhagen said.
Last year, the number of microcephaly births reported from Brazil's hospitals were nearly 3,500 in only the last quarter, compared to 147 births in the whole of 2014.