The Zika virus continues to be in the news, especially regarding its effects on newborns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of pregnant women in the United States reported to have the Zika virus has increased from 48 to 157. Unfortunately and more importantly, that has now translated in up to a dozen babies or fetuses who have already suffered the consequences of Zika infection, with the obvious possibility of more to come. The most notable consequence is the condition known as microcephaly, representing a reduction in the size of the skull and the brain, causing developmental delays and defects.
Here’s one simple point for you to know. Not a single person is known to have contracted Zika from a mosquito bite in the U.S. The CDC has been clear in two specific warnings:
- Do not travel to countries where Zika is endemic
- Wear condoms when engaged in sexual intercourse with male who have traveled to such an area (Zika can be passed on through sperm).
Your travel to these areas pose specific risks even if you’re not a female of childbearing age. Such travel increases the risk of being infected without showing symptoms, spreading the disease and contributing to a worldwide expansion of the Zika virus. In fact the World Health Organizations notes that Zika virus is now poised to invade Africa, having spread to the African nation of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde). Your actions pose risks to others.
Review this Straight, No Chaser for a refresher on transmission, symptoms and complications of the Zika Virus.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at , iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
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