How The Zika Virus Can Affect Pregnant Women Posted on 04 Aug 00:00
While the Zika virus is seen as one that isn't extremely serious for a lot of people, it's one that can create a great many issues for both pregnant women and their babies. The main reason for this is that Zika has been linked to microcephaly, which is a birth defect that can lead to a decreased amount of brain development, as well as a smaller sized head. Additionally, it can also cause serious abnormalities with vision in babies as well. It should be noted that there is no hard evidence that Zika is what actually causes this defect.
In many South American countries, there has been an increase in babies being born with microcephaly ever since the Zika virus first appeared throughout that particular region. The surge of this defect has become so great that health officials have taken the unusual step of warning women to avoid becoming pregnant. The Centers for Disease Control have also recently added locations including Jamaica and Aruba to the list of locations as proverbial danger zones involving the Zika virus.
If you are a woman who is pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, here is the most basic information that you need to know about regarding the Zika virus.
Where it is Primarily Located
If you are currently pregnant, you will need to avoid traveling to the following areas:
There are many other areas to avoid as well, according to the Centers for Disease Control. You are advised to visit their official website to obtain more information regarding these particular locations.
If, in the event, you have traveled to an area that has been known to be affected by the Zika virus, it is advised that you get tested for it between two to twelve weeks of having traveled to that area.
How the Virus can be Contracted
The Zika virus can only be transmitted through a specific mosquito that comes from the Aedes family. If a pregnant woman becomes bitten by this mosquito, there is an increased risk of their fetus being able to contract the virus as well, but only if the mother becomes infected at the time of delivery.
The virus can also be transmitted via sexual intercourse, as this was found to have been the case in one instance in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control note that the following symptoms are associated with the Zika virus, which can last anywhere from a few days to a week:
How to Treat the Virus
Currently, there is no medication or vaccine available to treat the Zika virus. If you do happen to become infected with it, it is advised that you do the following:
*Get plenty of rest
*Drink plenty of fluids
*Take pain-relieving medication
*Avoid getting mosquito bites for one week
All in all, the best way to avoid contracting the Zika virus while you are pregnant is to avoid traveling to any and all areas that are known to be prone to being hosts to the virus itself. However, if you absolutely have to travel to one of these areas, take the following precautions:
*Use plenty of insect repellent
*Wear long-sleeve clothing
*Use air conditioning whenever available
*Uitlize door screens and windows
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