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The Zika Virus and Travel – New Advisory Warns Pregnant Women

Zika virus

The Zika virus is the latest disease becoming a big problem and a new advisory warns pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last noted 52 travel-related cases as of February 10, 2016. Following the evidence associating the virus with microcephaly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued travel advisories that might alter your travel plans.

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The WHO has underlined the connection between the virus and microcephaly, which is a birth defect resulting in incomplete brain development and an abnormally small head. The statement notes, “Women who are pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their health care provider and consider delaying travel to any area where locally acquired Zika infection is occurring.”

The Zika virus spreads via mosquitoes conversely from the outbreak of Ebola which caused an epidemic in 2014. Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood and bodily fluids. The Zika virus is still being researched, but the World Health Organization suggest erring on the side of caution and urges men and women returning from areas where the virus is predominate to practice safe sex.

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No travel or trade restrictions have been set, but it’s best to be cautious when traveling on a general basis. Currently, there is no vaccine, but the Zika virus can best be prevented by using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents, according to the CDC.

As of today, cases have been reported in Capre Verde, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, in the Pacific Islands, and South America.