CDC Warns Pregnant Women To Avoid Travel To Zika Hit Nations

By Peter R - 21 Jan '16 16:25PM

In the wake of the Zika virus threat and detections in the US, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidelines for pregnant women.

ABC News reports that the new guidelines require doctors to determine from pregnant women if they have travelled to countries where the virus has been reported to cause disease. Besides recommending postponing travel to countries witnessing an outbreak, the CDC has also asked all pregnant to get tested if they have travelled to these countries.

"Because there is neither a vaccine nor prophylactic medications available to prevent Zika virus infection, CDC recommends that all pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing," the agency said while warning women to take adequate precautions against mosquito bites.

Though a relatively mild virus compared to dengue and chikungunya, also spread by the Aedes mosquitoes, the virus is a threat to pregnant women and their unborn fetuses as it causes microcephaly. The condition results in children being with smaller heads and neurological problems.

According to The New York Times, the outbreak is the worst in Brazil but CDC has warned of travel to Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Gautamela, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay and Puerto Rico as well.

Most infected people do not show symptoms, which include fever, rash and joint pain. When present, the symptoms usually resolve in a week. However the virus can cross the placental barrier and infect the fetus.

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