Zika Virus Outbreak linked to Birth Defects
Brits diagnosed with Zika Virus after South America travel
Is this the new mosquito-borne virus travellers have to worry about ?
Three cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in Florida, and two pregnant women tested positive in Illinois. Texas and Hawaii also have confirmed cases, including a baby born with a birth defect.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a travel alert over the virus , warning pregnant women to avoid some of the most popular american vacation destinations, according to CBS News‘ digital network . As if travelers didn’t have enough to stress about with mosquitos spreading diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and others now there’s a brand-new virus threatening our health – the Zika virus outbreak !
Days after the CDC provided a travel alert advising pregnant women to think about preventing areas consisting of Brazil, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico where this new virus is now quickly spreading out, the first U.S. case of an infant born with Zika-related microcephaly was confirmed in Hawaii. 3 more cases of Zika virus have appeared in Florida, and 2 pregnant women tested positive for the virus in Illinois . In all these cases, it is thought Zika was contracted abroad. Several cases of Zika virus have emerged in the U.S., but Dr. Anthony Fauci says those people were bitten while traveling abroad and the virus is not spreading within the U.S.
Zika Virus Symptoms
The most typical symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever , rash , joint discomfort, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is generally mild with signs and symptoms lasting from several days to a week.
# Question and Answers about Zika virus infection and pregnancy…
A mother already infected with Zika virus near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn around the time of birth, but this is rare. It is possible that Zika virus could be passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy. This mode of transmission is being investigated .To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding . Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found.
Zika Virus Outbreak linked to Birth Defects !
There has been one report of a possible spread of the virus through blood transfusion and one report of a possible spread of the virus through sexual contact.
How will Zika virus affect me or my unborn baby ?
CDC has issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people travelling to regions and certain countries where the Zika virus outbreak is ongoing : Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname, and Venezuela. This alert follows reports in Brazil of microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. However, additional studies are needed to further characterize this relationship. More studies are planned to learn more about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.
Until more is known , and out of an abundance of caution , CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant:
Pregnant women in any trimester should avoid travelling to the areas where the Zika virus outbreak is ongoing. Pregnant women who do travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor or healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip. Check the CDC travel website frequently for the most up-to-date recommendations.
It is suspected that visitors from French Polynesia, where an outbreak occurred in 2014, brought the virus to Brazil during that year’s World Cup according to sputniknews.com
Is there a vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika ?
No. There is no vaccine to prevent infection or medicine to treat Zika.
Is it safe to use an insect repellent if I am pregnant or nursing ?
Yes ! Using an insect repellent is safe and effective. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding can and should choose an EPA-registered insect repellents and use it according to the product label.
What should I do if I have Zika ?
Get plenty of rest
Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
Take medicines such as acetaminophen or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain
Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Protect others !
During the first week of infection , Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people. To help prevent others from getting sick, avoid mosquito bites during the first week of illness.
See your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and develop a fever, rash , joint pain , or red eyes within 2 weeks after traveling to a country where Zika virus cases have been reported. Be sure to tell your health care provider where you traveled !
Find more information about prevention here: www.cdc.gov
Sputniknews reported on 23.01.2016 :
El Salvador’s Deputy Health Minister Eduardo Espinoza on Thursday urged women to avoid pregnancy until 2018 !
The hardest hit country, however, is Brazil where more than 1 million people have contracted the virus. Health officials there are also investigating about 4,000 cases where the virus might have caused microcephaly in newborns.
“Today there is only one way to fight the Zika virus , which is to destroy the mosquito’s breeding grounds ,” Health Minister Marcelo Castro said . ” The final victory against the virus will only come when we develop a vaccine against that disease.”