Women With Zika Have 20 Times Risk Of Delivering Child With Birth Defect

By Jeff Thompson - 03 Mar '17 14:21PM

The latest observation regarding Zika virus is shocking, and it confirms that mothers with the virus have up to 20 times more risk of delivering the child with a birth defect than a non-Zika mother. The findings by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that microcephaly, eye defects, and neural tube defects are mainly reported.

It was already reported when the disease was widespread in 2015 that the infants would have a higher risk of birth defect. Even World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning regarding this. By early 2016, the first cases of Zika have been reported in Florida and Texas. Originally, an Aedes mosquito transmitting disease, but it can also spread through unprotected sex. So far there is no vaccination for the disease. Though the virus is not deadly, it is dangerous for pregnant women because infants have a higher risk of birth defect.

The study showed that microcephaly, a condition of an abnormally small head, has reported 33 times than pre-Zika era. The birth defects are reported to be 60 out of every 1000 births after Zika spread, against three out of 1000 births in the pre-Zika period. "Women should understand the importance of not being infected with Zika virus during pregnancy period," said Peggy Honein, the Chief of birth defects division of CDC. "There are at least 1,500 women in 50 U.S. cities with confirmed Zika infection, and at least 50 infants and fetuses with birth defects reported related to Zika virus."

While considering the abnormalities, brain issues are the mostly found birth defect and it is followed by neural tube defects. Preterm delivery (66%) and Pregnancy losses (48%) are also reported in the Zika cases. Though reports are stating the highest risk of Zika during first trimester period and early second trimester period, Honein says that there is no safe period in pregnancy against Zika. She advised the women not to travel to Zika infected areas during pregnancy period and avoid sexual contact with the partner if he traveled to the affected areas.

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