Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Pregnant woman advised to avoid countries with Zika outbreaks

PREGNANT women are being advised to re-consider travel to areas where #Zikavirus outbreaks are happening, which includes most of south and Central America and parts of the Caribbean, including Barbados and the Dominican Republic.

The virus usually causes only mild symptoms in adults, but it is blamed for thousands of babies born with underdeveloped brains.

It has been spreading throughout the Americas and the World Health Organisation said it is likely to infect most countries in the region, except Canada and Chile.

Three Britons have already contracted the virus after visiting Colombia, Suriname, and Guyana.

UK officials say women should talk to their doctors about the risks, and if travel is unavoidable they should take precautions to avoid bites from mosquitoes that spread the disease.

Women planning to become pregnant should also be wary, said the National Travel Health Network and Centre. Any pregnant woman who has recently travelled to a country where Zika is known to occur should tell their doctor or midwife, it said.

An outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil, which was first reported in May last year, is likely to cause concern for women planning to travel to the country for the next Olympic Games.

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