Brazil, Mexico, and other countries around the wolrd have suffered an outbreak of the Zika virus. The virus is transmitted by a mosquito, the symptoms of the virus include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Infected people are not usually hospitalized, but the virus can have devastating news for pregnant women.
The Zika virus can cause microcephaly, in which babies are born with unusually small heads and often damaged brains. Doctors won’t know the specifics of how much damage the virus has done until babies are born in October. In Brazil, about 3 million babies are born in Brazil each year in the country and 150 of microcephaly cases are reported.
85% of babies born with microcephaly, brains are not properly developed during pregnancy or stopped growing in the first year of life. The babies will also experience later developmental delays, hearing loss or intellectual challenges, genetic abnormalities. These problems vary from child to child.
Dr. William Dobyns told the Daily Beast that the current effects on babies are the worst in 30 years of study.
“These heads are six deviations below the mean”, Dobyns said. “In these kids with Zika you see really severe microcephaly. The heads are probably minus five to six standard deviations below the norm, and that’s really small. If the appearance of the head seems problematic, the brain is worse”
Doblyn goes on to say that children are only suffering mild handicaps is a fantasy.
To combat these mosquito the World Health Organization has backed trials of genetically modified mosquito’s kills the virus. Essentially what will happen is, sterile males will go into the wild and mate with females, and this would prevent the females who carry the virus to stop producing.
It is possible, the strategy could wipe out an entire species mosquitos. The WHO has encouraged countries to use old and new tactics to get rid of mosquitos.
Pregnant women across the world are concerned about the virus, and potentially if any mosquitoes that may carry the virus, have harmed them. Women who believe they may have come in contact with this virus, should contact their doctor.
8o% of people who have the virus do not feel ill, and there is no way to find evidence if the baby has been hurt unless she is visibly ill.
The CDC does not have the capacity to test the every pregnant women who may have been in physical in Latin American counties or the Caribbean in the last 9 months.
Pregnant women who are worried, should get an ultrasound scan to see if the fetuses brain is developing.
Women who don’t intend to get pregnant no but may wish to in the future, should take strict birth control to prevent potential pregnancy that could occur in a country that has reported the virus. Half of all pregnancy is unintentional, if you do get pregnant in a country that has reported the Zika virus, than you should get monthly ultrasound.