Last updated on March 1st, 2016 at 10:35 am
Have you been watching the news about the new Zika virus roaming the world recently? I only heard about it yesterday. Apparently there is a virus that affects already pregnant ladies and ladies who are planning to become pregnant. While it affects 1 in 5 women out there there are countries that advise women on not getting pregnant for the next eight to 24 months. While there is minimum research that has been done regarding Zika virus there are ways you can prevent it.
Good to know:
- Data suggests that newborn babies of mothers who had a Zika virus infection during the first trimester of pregnancy are at an increased risk of microcephaly. In December 2015 it was suspected that a transplacental infection of the fetus may lead to microcephaly and brain damage. The Brazilian Ministry of Health has since confirmed the relation between the Zika virus and microcephaly. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zika_virus)
- 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.(http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/index.html)
- In 2009 Brian Foy, a biologist from the Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory at Colorado State University, sexually transmitted Zika virus to his wife. He visited Senegal to study mosquitoes and was bitten on a number of occasions. A few days after returning to the United States, he fell ill with Zika, but not before having had unprotected intercourse with his wife. She subsequently showed symptoms of Zika infection with extreme sensitivity to light. Foy is the first person known to have passed on an insect-borne virus to another human by sexual contact. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zika_virus)
- Current countries with an outbreak and warnings are are Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, and Venezuela.