Pregnant moms warned about travel to Mexico because of Zika virus

By Brent Bosker
January 22, 2016 - 7:16am

Public health officials in Canada warn pregnant women to avoid traveling to Mexico, Caribbean and South America.
 
That's because of the Zika virus. The tropical disease carried from person to person by mosquitoes is spreading quickly with 19 countries now dealing with cases.
 
Brazil has been battling the largest Zika outbreak yet, with more than thee million infected people. 
 
The virus first appeared in the Americas last year and has recently been linked to miscarriages and birth defects prompting the alert from the Canadian government.
 
Deputy medical health officer for the Saskatoon Health Region Dr. Johnmark Opondo, said they are most concerned about microcephaly, a developmental disorder where newborns are born with abnormally small heads.
 
"Early pregnancy is the riskiest time. If it's right at the beginning, like the first few days. That's just isn't great," Opondo said. "It's a mild illness with rash and fever but it can have this severe effect on pregnant women."
 
Currently there is no vaccine for the virus, and so Opondo says local health officials advise expectant mothers to consider postponing or cancelling trips to infected regions.
 
As recently as 2013, the virus had never been recorded in the Western Hemisphere, but is spreading quickly across the Americas. On Wednesday, three cases of Zika virus, Florida’s first, were recorded in people who had recently traveled in Latin America.
 
The Public Health Agency of Canada said there have been no reported cases of locally acquired Zika virus in Canada, and say the risk of that happening is low.

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