Around 150 pregnant women have tested positive for Zika in the US

CCTV News

Around 150 pregnant women have tested positive for Zika in the US1

American health officials said 157 women in the U.S., and more than 120 others in U.S. territories, notably Puerto Rico have tested positive for the Zika virus.

Experts warn the virus could cause birth defects. They are calling for more funding to prevent its spread. CCTV America’s Roee Ruttenberg reports.

Around 150 pregnant women have tested positive for Zika in the US

Around 150 pregnant women have tested positive for Zika in the US

American health officials said 157 women in the U.S., and more than 120 others in U.S. territories, notably Puerto Rico have tested positive for the Zika virus. Experts warn the virus could cause birth defects. They are calling for more funding to prevent its spread. CCTV America's Roee Ruttenberg reports.

Officials said that most had traveled to areas like Brazil where Zika is prevalent, or had sex with someone from there.

On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama told leading health officials, he’s asking for nearly two billion dollars in emergency funding.

“We want to be able to feel safe and secure, and families who are of child-bearing years want to feel as if they can have confidence that, when they travel, when they want to start a family, that this is not an issue. To the extent that that’s something that we think is important, then this is a pretty modest investment for us to get those assurances,” Obama said.

The U.S. Senate has approved nearly half of the money. The Republican led House agreed to finance less than a third by cutting funding to existing programs such as Ebola. U.S. health officials said the move is inadequate and shortsighted.

170 pregnant women are among those infected, and at least three babies have been diagnosed with microcephaly, a birth defect believed to be linked to Zika.