To Top

NYS Health Officials Advise MDs to Watch for Zika Virus

The move comes after United States health chiefs issued an alert on Friday advising pregnant women to avoid travelling to Brazil and several other countries in the Americas where Zika outbreaks have occurred.

Reuters reports the mother became ill while living in Brazil previous year and the baby was likely infected in the womb, Hawaiian state health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

“We believe this is a fairly serious problem”, Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Vector Borne Infectious Diseases, said during an evening press conference Friday.

The countries and territories that are included in the CDC alert are Venezuela, Brazil, the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Colombia, Suriname, El Salvador, Paraguay, French Guiana, Panama, Mexico, Guatemala, Martinique, Honduras, and Haiti.

“In this situation, an astute Hawaii physician recognized the possible role of Zika virus infection, immediately notified the Department of Health, and worked with us to confirm the suspected diagnosis”, said Park.

Pregnant women or women who are planning to get pregnant are not the only ones who should show and abundance of caution, but CDC warns U.S. doctors to be aware of any symptoms of Zika infection.

This mosquito-borne virus was present in other parts of the world, but Brazil reported a case for the first time in May of previous year.

Zika cropped up in Brazil in May and has since been linked to a rise in cases of microcephaly, a birth defect that leads to underdeveloped heads and brains in children. The Zika Virus is spread when the Aedes mosquito bites an infected person.

Local transmission means mosquitoes in an area have been infected with the virus and are spreading it to humans.

Brazil’s Health Ministry says 3,530 babies have been born with microcephaly in the country since October. But Brazilian authorities have identified at least seven deaths potentially linked to the virus in newborns and adults.

Doctors also do not know how many pregnant women with Zika virus will have a child born with a poor birth outcome, such as microcephaly.

In addition, if you have the Zika virus, avoid mosquito bites during the first week of the illness to help prevent the spread of the disease.

The CDC on Friday recommended that pregnant women not travel to 14 countries because of the presence of the Zika virus in those nations.

“Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing”. These symptoms go away within a week, and 1 in 4 people don’t even develop any illness after being infected with the virus.

Called Zika virus, it is transmitted primarily through mosquito bites.

Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. Zika virus is related to the dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses, which normally do not cause such damage; Zika is not closely related to rubella or cytomegalovirus, which are known to cause microcephaly.

The common symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, according to the CDC.

More in AmeriPublications

Privacy Preference Center