The United States cautioned pregnant ladies Friday to maintain a strategic distance from going to 14 countries and parts of Caribbean and Latin America because of the mosquito-borne Zika infection, caused by Zika Virus connected to birth deformities.
“The virus is spreading fairly rapidly through the America,” said Lyle Petersen, director of the division of vector-borne infectious diseases at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a conference call with reporters.
“We thought it was very important to warn people as soon as possible.”
The level two travel alert applies to Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
“Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing,” said the CDC.
This virus can cause fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, with symptoms usually lasting under a week and in pregnant women, the virus can spread to the fetus and cause brain shrinkage or death.
Alongside with in Zika case in Brazil, more than 3,500 cases of microcephaly have been documented in the country between October 2015 and January 2016.
Four of those cases have recently been studied, showing that babies were infected with Zika virus while they were in the womb and that it reached their brains.
Two of the cases involved miscarriages and two of the children died soon after birth.
“All four mothers reported having experienced a fever and rash illness consistent with Zika virus disease during their pregnancies,” said the CDC.
“Genetic sequence analysis showed that the virus in the four cases was the same as the Zika virus strain currently circulating in Brazil.”