The Zika virus has continued to spread, and the World Health Organization has recommended that women and couples living in Zika-infected areas should refrain from becoming pregnant in order to limit the risk of giving birth to children with a congenital brain disorder, provoked by the virus.
Recently, the WHO indicated that the Zika virus will affect millions of reproductive-aged people in 46 nations where the virus has spread. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked that pregnant women and those trying to conceive not travel to Zika-plagued areas –although such requests frequently ignore certain realities. Approximately 25 percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million population will likely be infected by Zika virus by the year’s end. With that said, scientists have not expected that outbreak will spread to the continental United States.
Zika virus is commonly spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes genus. This can be transmitted by having sex with another person, and mothers can infect infants, who face high rates of microcephaly, which is a disorder characterized by unusually small heads and severe brain damage. Avoiding pregnancy is nearly impossible for certain women living in Zika-infected areas.
In Caribbean and Latin American countries, 58 percent of pregnancies are unattended. These countries also have some of the most restrictive and harshest reproductive health laws. Contraception is far too pricey in these areas, likewise, clinics are too far and many young people avoid contraception because of stigma regarding promiscuity, which all increases the likelihood of childbirth. Additionally, abortion is restricted and banned in many areas. What must also be considered are the number of young women raped each year in Latin America, an estimated 1.6 million.
Unintentionally, women will become present, so it’s up to the government to educate the public and make essential resources available whenever necessary, making it easier for women to avoid pregnancies. According to the New York Times, the Zika virus has not only spread from Brazil into the Carribean, but women and unborn children in the U.S. also face a threat. There are three essential tests used to detect the virus. If a woman tests positive for Zika, there’s no treatment, but doctors will be able to perform several ultrasounds to detect issues in fetal development.
According to the New York Times, there are now 234 pregnant women in the continental U.S. carry the Zika virus. Beyond that, the problem facing health providers is the fact that many who require testing, large numbers of women, many uninsured or low-income immigrants from the Caribbean and Latin America, are not being screened or tested sufficiently.
Beyond that, data isn’t kept on many women who’ve traveled to Zika areas. Conversely, women from higher-income neighborhoods are far more likely to be tested. Risks are mounting as the summer draws nearer and mosquitos carry the virus to Florida and other states along the Gulf of Mexico, where there will most likely be cases of transmission. However, so far, all reported cases of the virus in the U.S. have been contracted elsewhere.
from Dr. Lori Gore-Green | Gynecology and Obstetrics http://ift.tt/1OvSLfK