Pregnant Women Warned to Avoid Brownsville, Tex., Because of Zika


Photo

A festival in Brownsville, Tex., in 2015. At least five cases of the Zika virus transmitted by mosquitoes have been reported there in the last few weeks.

Credit
Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

Federal health officials warned pregnant women on Wednesday to avoid visiting Brownsville, Tex., because of the threat of infection with the Zika virus.

At least five cases of Zika transmitted by local mosquitoes have been reported in the last few weeks, and temperatures are still high enough for mosquitoes to thrive, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Federal officials issued similar warnings for Miami-Dade County last August. Cases were ultimately discovered in four areas, all of which have since been declared free of local transmission.

Brownsville is on the border with Mexico, which has seen local transmission of the virus for months, and on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

The C.D.C. suggested that pregnant women who live in or visit Brownsville or surrounding Cameron County do everything they can to avoid mosquito bites, and that they and their sexual partners use condoms for the duration of their pregnancies.

Women and couples in the area considering pregnancy “should discuss their reproductive life plans with their health care provider,” who should counsel them about the risks that Zika presents, the C.D.C. said.

Women who think they have been exposed to Zika should wait at least eight weeks before trying to get pregnant, officials said.

Because the virus is known to persist in semen long after an infection, men who have been exposed to it — or think they might have been — should wait at least six months before trying to impregnate a woman, the agency said.

Zika has been shown to attack the fetuses of infected women, killing some and leaving many others with severe brain damage, including blindness, deafness, unusually small heads, seizures and the inability to swallow or to unclench their limbs.

Experts are uncertain how often the damage occurs. One study published this week suggested that almost half of infected fetuses may have some form of damage, though other research indicates the figure may be much lower.

Continue reading the main story



Source link

About admin

Check Also

What We Learned in 2017

It’s impossible to say that any particular scientific development was the most important in a ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *