HEALTH

CDC holds 'Zika Summit' – warns U.S. officials to prepare for outbreaks

A graphic is displayed on a screen as attendees wait for a seminar to begin at a one-day Zika summit at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday, April 1, 2016, in Atlanta. The government is urging health officials from around the country to prepare for potential outbreaks of the mosquito-borne virus in the U.S. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

A graphic is displayed on a screen as attendees wait for a seminar to begin at a one-day Zika summit at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday, April 1, 2016, in Atlanta. The government is urging health officials from around the country to prepare for potential outbreaks of the mosquito-borne virus in the U.S. (AP Photo/David Goldman)  (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

The government is urging health officials around the country to prepare now for any possible outbreaks of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in the U.S. this summer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hosted about 300 state and local officials at a "Zika Summit" on Friday at the agency's headquarters in Atlanta.

A Zika epidemic has been sweeping through Latin America and the Caribbean. Officials think it's likely some small clusters of Zika will occur in the U.S. when mosquito numbers boom.

The virus causes only a mild and brief illness, at worst, in most people. But infections in pregnant women have been linked to a brain defect and fetal deaths.

There have been about 300 cases of Zika in the U.S. – all linked to travel to outbreak areas.

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