Zika Virus Warning Pregnant women should not travel to Latin America at the moment
Currently, a dangerous pathogen is spreading in several countries in Central and South America: The Zika virus can apparently be transmitted to the unborn child and lead to severe neonatal skull malformations. Authorities now warn pregnant women before traveling to the affected areas.
Authority advises pregnant women from travel
In parts of Latin America, a dangerous pathogen is currently spreading. Since October last year alone, more than 3,500 children with malformations have been born in Brazil, which are linked to an infection with the Zika virus. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. The US Department of Health (CDC) has now discouraged pregnant women from traveling to the affected areas. The authorities said they should avoid those countries where the virus is currently occurring. These are Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Venezuela and the Caribbean island of Martinique. Zika virus is spreading. Pregnant women should avoid traveling to Latin America. Picture: nickylarson974 - fotolia
Malformations in newborns
The symptoms caused by the pathogen are sometimes similar to those of dengue or chikungunya fever. It comes to fever, headache, joint pain, conjunctivitis and rash. Most of the complaints occur only a few days after a mosquito bite. According to health experts, although severe cases are relatively rare, the long-term consequences could be fatal. In expectant mothers, the virus can apparently be transmitted to the unborn child and cause brain malformations or death. However, this correlation has not been scientifically proven so far. There is no vaccine against the virus or a drug for the treatment of patients.
Pathogens probably came to South America through Football World Cup
The pathogen, which was first detected in Uganda, occurred only a few years ago in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. In the summer of 2014, the Zika virus was probably introduced to Brazil by the Football World Cup. Since then, it has increasingly appeared in South and Central America. Experts advise people living or traveling in the affected areas to avoid mosquito bites as much as possible in order to protect themselves from infection. We recommend bright, closed clothes and mosquito repellent. In addition, mosquito nets should be used at night. (Ad)