The growing reports about the Zika Virus recently has caused major concern for everyone. For those women who are pregnant or who are planning to conceive have even more reason to be cautious.
Baby with Zika Virus
When looking at the Zika Virus in general, it is an otherwise mild-tempered disease that doesn’t cause severe symptoms or pose a major threat. The symptoms that come with the Zika Virus are easily maintained and those infected usually recover fully without any real cause for concern. However, when it comes to the Zika Virus and Pregnancy, the results could be fateful for the unborn child.
What Are The Risks Of Zika Virus & Where Did It Come From?
Babies born with Zika having neurological condition called Microcephaly
How Is The Zika Virus Transmitted And Spread?
The unborn child being carried by a woman who has contracted the virus runs the risk of being born with severe developmental issues including a neurological condition called Microcephaly. Microcephaly is a rare birth defect where a baby is born with a head that is smaller than the normal size. Babies with this defect may also be susceptible to lifelong disabilities.
Up until the year 2007, there were very few documented reports of the Zika Virus but it was first identified in 1947 in a part of Africa. In the year 2007, there was an outbreak of the virus in a sub-region of Oceania called Micronesia. Then in 2015, the Zika Virus started to spread through parts of South America and it is estimated that as many as 4 million people could be infected throughout the Americas within the next year. This has caused the abortion rate to double and has caused an increase in the monitoring of pregnant women who have recently traveled internationally to areas where the virus is in transmission.
If you live in or travel to a region that is known to have the Zika Virus, it can be entered into your system through the bite of a mosquito that is infected. For example, if you live in the USA and get infected with the virus while vacationing, when you come back home and are bitten by a different mosquito, that mosquito can spread it to someone else. It has also been proven that the Zika Virus can be sexually transmitted but researchers are unaware of how long the virus can stay in the male’s semen.
What Are The Symptoms Of The Zika Virus?
The symptoms of the Zika Virus continue to be mild but the symptoms are those that are usually associated to other things and are commonly ignored. Especially if you are a pregnant woman or are trying to conceive, you should consult your doctor if you have symptoms related to fever, muscle/joint pain, headaches, red eyes or even pain behind your eyes. However, only 1 in 5 people show any signs or symptoms at all, so if you are pregnant, have recently traveled, had sexual intercourse with someone who has traveled (or lives in) to an affected region, you should make an appointment to get a full blood workup done and an ultrasound to be sure you and your baby are safe.
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(Last Updated On: 2nd March 2021)