Parenting

Devastating: Newborns Infected With Zika Virus Have Severe Brain Defects

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Well, it’s been confirmed. The first sexually transmitted case of the Zika virus has reached American soil in Texas. The Dallas County Health and Human Services Department released a statement saying the virus has been transmitted through sex to a healthy individual by someone who visited Venezuela.

What is the Zika virus? First diagnosed in 1947, not many had heard of it before this year and it was considered rare, causing little harm. It’s carried and transmitted by mosquitoes in countries like Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia; there is currently no vaccine.

The scariest symptom is what is known as microcephaly. This causes a baby to be born with an abnormally small head and severe neurological problems. World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan said in a meeting of health experts that “a causal relationship between the Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not scientifically proven.”

WHO has declared the virus an international health emergency with over 4 million infected by the end of this year.

Currently the only real prevention being recommended is avoiding high risk countries and sexual contact with infected partners, especially if you are pregnant. If you must travel to one of the 27 regions where the virus is out of control, try to avoid mosquito bites. Really reassuring. Good thing my baby making days are over.

Image courtesy Shutterstock

Image courtesy Shutterstock