Brazilian Health Officials: Don’t Get Pregnant Spreading Zika Virus

Brazilian Health Officials: Don’t Get Pregnant Spreading Zika Virus

Though, it seems really weird message when heard from health officials in Brazil: Don’t Get Pregnant, but, the message seems beneficial for the would-be parents living in Northeast region in Brazil. The area has been linked with an outbreak of mosquito-borne virus called Zika that is increasingly causing microcephaly, a neurological disorder that can result in incomplete brain, in newborn babies. Angela Rocha, the pediatric infectologist at Oswaldo Cruz Hospital in Brazil's hardest-hit state, said that being pregnant is a personal decision. But, it would be highly advisable to couples to put off their pregnancy plans. Rocha added that newborns need special care and attention and we cannot simply ignore this.

Earlier in the starting of the month, with the increase in microcephaly cases, doctors noticed that the cases are linked with the appearance of the Zika virus in Brazil. They soon found symptoms of Zika virus in expected mothers during the early pregnancy. Mild fever, rash and headaches are some of the symptoms of the Zika virus infection. They confirmed the case on November 28, when Brazil's Health Ministry found the Zika virus in a baby born with microcephaly during an autopsy.

Microcephaly results in babies being born with abnormally small heads that cause, often serious, developmental issues and sometimes early death. This year, more than 2,400 suspected cases of microcephaly have been reported in 20 Brazilian states, compared with 147 cases in 2014. More than 900 cases have been reported in Pernambuco state alone. About six states have declared the state of emergency with doctors investigating 29 related infants’ death cases. For the first time, Zika fever was discovered in Uganda in the 1940s and has since become endemic in parts of Africa. Later on it spread to the South Pacific and areas of Asia, and most recently to Latin America. Researchers are still continuing their research to determine if Zika actually causes microcephaly and further establish an association.

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