Most recently, there has been a cause for concern over a new virus that has many expecting or potential mothers worried. The illness known as the Zika Virus has been linked to microcephaly and is the cause for a sudden pandemic, infecting more than 5,000 pregnant women in Columbia. The virus can spread from pregnant women to their fetus, the cause of the link is not yet understood but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that pregnant women who are in any trimester should practice special precautions to prevent being infected with the virus.
Travel warnings have been put into effect in areas with reported Zika virus cases. Pregnant women or couples who plan to get pregnant are advised to avoid countries in South America, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
The Zika Virus can be transmitted
Mosquito bites are not the only way someone may become infected with the Zika Virus, the disease can possibly be transmitted through sexual intercourse.
There is still no known cure or vaccine for the Zika virus. Health officials encourage travelers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Travelers should use an EPA-registered repellant while wearing appropriate clothing to cover all exposed areas of the body. Be cautious of still bodies of water because of the conditions being so conducive to mosquitoes and bed nets should be used for extra protection at night.
Common symptoms of the Zika Virus includes discomfort, fever, rash, red eyes, and joint pain. Other symptoms of the virus include headaches, pain behind the eyes, vomiting, and muscle pain.