15:49 GMT21 January 2021
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    US citizens should consider putting off their trips to Southeast Asia because of the risk of contracting the Zika virus in 11 countries in the region, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in a statement on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Zika outbreak started in Brazil in the spring of 2015. The virus is transmitted by infected Aedes species of mosquitos and produces no visible effects on adults, however, the disease can cause severe brain defects to unborn babies.

    "CDC now recommends that pregnant women should consider postponing nonessential travel to these countries because of the uncertain risk of Zika virus infection," the statement said.

    The Zika virus risk exists in Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam, according to CDC.

    "The level of risk for Zika virus infection in these countries is unknown, but it is likely lower (but not zero) than in areas where Zika is newly introduced and spreading widely," the statement noted.

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    Zika Virus, US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
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