Zika birth defects in US territories similar to other places

Aedes aegypti mosquito
FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito known to carry the Zika virus, is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. India has reported three cases of the Zika virus for the first time, including two pregnant women who delivered healthy babies. The World Health Organization said in a statement released Friday that the three cases that India reported to the WHO on May 15 were detected through routine blood surveillance in a hospital in Ahmadabad, Gujarat's capital. Two cases were detected in February and November last year, while a third case was detected in January this year. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A new report shows Zika birth defects were about the same in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories as in other places hit by the epidemic.

About 1 in 20 women infected with Zika had babies with birth defects in U.S. territories. That’s similar to what was seen in the rest of the United States and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report was released Thursday.

The island territories — particularly Puerto Rico — are the U.S. locations hardest hit by the Zika epidemic. The tropical mosquitoes that spread Zika are more widespread there.

Most people infected with Zika don’t get sick. It can cause a mild illness, with fever, rash and joint pain. But infection during pregnancy can lead to severe brain-related birth defects.