Zika – Travel Advisory For Pregnant Women

The mosquito is nothing more to us than an annoying little creature that comes around during our evening Bar-B-Q’s or shows up at the family picnic. But we usually have nothing more to be concerned about other than itching, redness and swelling at the bite site. zika2
We have heard about Dengue Fever, caused by the mosquito, and we have recently become aware of Chikungunya, again the evil mosquito.  But there is another virus associated with this small yet infectious insect – Zika.
Caused by the Flavivirus it causes the Zika fever, with symptoms of red eyes, headaches, fever, rash and joint pain.
Originally discovered in Uganda in the 1940’s Zika has now made it’s way across the oceans to the Americas.  The CDC has recently issued an official health advisory and travel alert (Jan 15, 2016) to people traveling to countries such as Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Reports have found that pregnant women infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy have poor birth outcomes, including birth defects. There has been a direct link in Brazil with the Zika Fever and the increasing number of babies born with Microcephaly.
With no vaccination available at this time, your best way of  protecting yourself is with insect repellent, long sleeves, air-condition and sleeping with mosquito netting.

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