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Pregnant Missouri woman infected with Zika virus

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed Friday that a pregnant woman has tested positive for the Zika virus, the fourth confirmed case in the state.

It is unclear where in Missouri the woman lives. She had recently traveled to Nicaragua, a known area of Zika transmission.

According to the Missouri Department of Health, there have been no reported cases of the Zika virus being contracted from a mosquito bite in the state.

The Zika virus can be spread through a mosquito bite, unprotected sexual contact, and blood transfusion. A pregnant woman can pass the virus to her fetus during pregnancy. Nearly 80 percent of people who catch the virus will show no symptoms, which includes: fever, rash, joint soreness, or redness of the eyes.

International health officials suspect a connection between pregnant woman catching the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly in newborns. Babies with microcephaly will have smaller head sizes and their brains may not develop properly.

The CDC recommends pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas, such as Mexico, the Caribbean, Central American, and South America.

At present, there is no vaccine for Zika virus.