The Zika virus has now spread to 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries, NBC News reported.
The virus is now spreading locally in Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, and Venezuela. Samoa, in the south Pacific, is also reporting Zika for the first time.
The spread of the virus can be expected to escalate, as the mosquitoes that carry it can be found across the region. Some popular tourist destinations have been hit and it’s likely to spread farther, according to international health officials.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday repeated its recommendation that pregnant women avoid travel to affected countries until more can be learned about whether it can affect unborn babies.