CDC expands Zika virus alert; more countries issue pregnancy warnings: causing Symptoms that Cant be Explained by Doctors

(CNN)Three British travelers have been infected with the Zika virus, health officials revealed this week.

“As of January 2016, three cases associated with travel to Colombia, Suriname and Guyana have been diagnosed in UK travelers,” Public Health England said on its website.

The government agency did not provide further details about the cases but added that the virus “does not occur naturally in the UK.”

Zika “is not spread directly from person to person,” it said. Travel warnings

The announcement came on the heels of last week’s travel alert from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending pregnant women postpone travel to Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

On Friday, the CDC expanded its travel warning to include Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, Guyana, Cape Verde and Samoa.

The recommendations also call for women who have traveled to these places during their pregnancy be screened and monitored for the virus if their visit took place while the virus was present in the country they visited.

Pregnancy risks

Zika virus is a mosquito borne disease. An individual becomes infected by the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms of the virus include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes and can last from a few days to about a week. But 80% of individuals infected have no symptoms.

The virus has been linked to an increase in cases of a rare neurological condition called microcephaly in babies. Microcephaly results in babies being born with abnormally small heads, and often serious, and sometimes deadly, developmental delays.

Dangers of Zika virus

Dangers of Zika virus01:39

It prompted the Salvadoran vice minister of health to tell women there not to get pregnant for two years, echoing similar warnings in Colombia and Jamaica.

“We’re recommending that wom



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