Some areas have a Zika virus outbreak, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning to avoid traveling to affected regions.
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease, and its symptoms, which last for about a week, include fever, rashes, joint pains, and red eyes. However, 80 percent of people infected with the Zika virus show no symptoms. Even if hospitalization and death are rare for adults in this case (hence the virus may seem harmless), for pregnant women the Zika virus can spread to the fetus and cause brain shrinkage or death.
The virus has been linked to increased cases of a rare neurological condition called microcephaly in babies. If a baby has microcephaly, it will be born with an abnormally small head and will suffer from serious, often deadly, developmental delays. That's 'cos the virus destroys brain tissue.
In Brazil, two out of 3,500 cases of babies suffering from microcephaly resulted in being miscarried. Another two have resulted in the baby dying soon after birth.
That's why the CDC states "Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing." It's the same for those who are trying to get pregnant, so choose where to go on your honeymoon wisely.
Regions where the Zika virus are locally acquired are:
- Cape Verde
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Martin
Taiwan has also raised the concern in Southeast Asia, since its airport recently detected a Thai man infected with the virus and quarantined him. It then raised travel notices to Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, as well as the Maldives.
To prevent getting bitten by mosquitos carrying the virus, the CDC suggests wearing long sleeves, pants, and applying insect repellant. Be sure to keep yourself protected because currently there is no vaccine to prevent Zika and no medicine to treat it.
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