New Zika guidelines suggest testing for pregnant women on case-by-case basis

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Doctors are changing test recommendations for pregnant women who may have been exposed to Zika.

A recent change by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is no longer recommending routine testing for pregnant women without any Zika symptoms, but who may have been put at risk.

In 2016, hundreds of cases of Zika were reported in the US causing a stir for doctors and pregnant women.

"The guidelines from last year, included testing every single person who had symptoms of course and who could've been exposed, but also testing any pregnant women who might've had an exposure, even if they had no symptoms at all," said Acting State Health Officer, Dr. Scott Harris.

Now, the CDC  says it should be up to the discretion of the doctor and on a case by case basis. This change is because of the growing number of false-positive test results in recent months.

"For other states, particularly here in the south where we have mosquito populations where this is some risk of local transmission. There's still a lot of discussion going on about how to interpret these guidelines and what to do with them," said Dr. Harris.

So far, in Alabama there has been no mosquito-transmission of Zika. Reported cases of the virus have been from people who have traveled to impacted areas.

Dr. Harris says pregnant women should follow the new suggestion: talk to your doctor and make a decision on a case by case basis.

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