According to data from New York City's health department, more than half of residents who have tested positive for the Zika virus had recently traveled to the Dominican Republic. Recent visitors to Puerto Rico were a distant second. The mosquito-borne illness results in mild symptoms or none at all for most who contract it, but Zika poses a special risk for pregnant women because it can result in brain damage and other problems in a developing fetus. The virus continues to spread in South America and the Caribbean, where thousands of people have been infected.
In New York, the health department said it was releasing its new testing data not to stigmatize any group, but to raise awareness. All women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant and who have also traveled to any Zika-affected areas are advised to get tested for the virus, even if they don't have any symptoms.