'Scarier than we initially thought:' CDC sounds warning on Zika virus Gregory Korte USA TODAY © AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIH/NIAID, right, with Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Center for Disease Control, speaks about the Zika virus during a news briefing at the White House in… WASHINGTON — Public health officials said Monday they've learned a lot more about Zika since the Obama administration made a $1.9 billion request to Congress to combat the mosquito-borne virus, and are increasingly concerned about its potential impact on the United States. "Most of what we've learned is not reassuring," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Everything we know about this virus seems to be scarier than we initially thought." She said the virus has been linked to a broader array of birth defects throughout a longer period of pregnancy. The potential geographic range of the mosquitoes transmitting the virus also reaches farther northward, and now includes 30 states. And it can be spread sexually, causing the CDC to update its guidance to couples. But researchers don't know how many babies of women infected with Zika will end up with birth defects, or what drugs and vaccines may be effective. .