Tuesday, January 12, 2016

It seems new viruses and diseases are popping up more and more these days. The latest one, may just be the scariest.
It has traveled from Africa to South America and it is called the Zika Virus. This is a particularly disturbing virus as it is infecting mothers and affecting their newborns. The effect to the baby is incurable microcephaly, which basically translates to a shrunken brain for the baby, which in turn means lifelong care for the child.
This disease emerged in Brazil in 2014, right after the World Cup. Within that year, 147 cases were reported. But here’s where it get’s shocking. The number of cases the next year, in 2015, were 2,782! Forty of which have already died. So you can see how rapidly this virus is spreading.
It is said to spread by mosquitoes, though it hasn’t been confirmed just how this virus made it’s way to South America.
Headache, rash, fever and joint pain are the common symptoms that mother’s experience.
This is becoming so bad and so widespread that the Brazilian government actually issued a warning that all women who wish to get pregnant, should hold off until they can somehow contain this outbreak.
And what if a woman is already pregnant? Officials are highly recommending that they keep their skin covered as much as possible, while frequently applying bug repellent in order to minimize contact and lessen the chances that the virus spreads through a bug bite. The moms who are in their third trimester are the ones who are at the most risk.
Here are the places that have been reported as of October of 2015, for being hotspots where the infection has been found:
Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Panama, Suriname, Venezuela, and Brazil. But, it is also on official U.S. soil as it has been found in Puerto Rico as well.
Prevention is key here, so if you are pregnant make sure to take precautions appropriately. If you are thinking about starting a family be aware that this could be spreading rapidly and while Governments are trying to get this under control, as of now it appears to still be a very real threat.