Disclosure: This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with Stiletto Media and Northwell Health-Go Health Urgent Care to provide awareness and information on the Zika virus. All opinions are my own. .
Last week, I attended a very important tweet chat at a brand new Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care center in Gramercy part of Manhattan. There we learned about the Zika virus. We have heard horror stories about women having babies with birth defects around certain parts of the world and I was eager to learn how it could affect my family and me.
Although no local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported here in the U.S., there have been travel related cases. As of June 24, 2016, 233 Zika virus infections have been diagnosed among New York residents and this included 24 pregnant women. Please note that all NYC cases were associated with travel to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Guyana.
Learning I was pregnant just a couple of years ago, I worried about the things that could go wrong. My age was a factor but that’s it. With the recent news of the Zika virus and its side effects among pregnant women or those planning to have a baby, I realize that there is more to worry about but knowledge is power. In this post I’ll share what I learned at a recent presentation by the doctors at the Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care center.
What do Doctors know about Zika?
· The primary way patients get Zika is through the bites of infected mosquitos.
· To date no Zika incidents have been reported from breastfeeding.
· Many people infected with Zika don’t show any symptoms and don’t know they have it.
· Zika remains in the blood of an infected person for a week to ten days.
· The good news is that once you have Zika you cannot get it again.
· A man infected with the Zika virus can infect his female partner via intercourse.
Here’s what the doctors do not know:
· Doctors do not know how often the Zika virus is passed from a mother to her child in the womb.
· The don’t know whether the timing of a woman’s Zika virus infection during pregnancy, or the severity of a woman’s symptoms, affect her pregnancy.
· The long-term health outcomes of children and infants infected with the Zika virus are also unknown at this time.
What if you’re pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant? Here’s what you should know:
· The birth defects, including microcephaly, and other problems have been reported with women infected with Zika during their pregnancy.
· Zika can be passed on from mother to fetus or to baby at time of birth.
· The CDC concluded that the Zika virus during pregnancy is the cause of Microcephaly and other severe fetal brain birth defects in babies.
· Pregnancy loss and other births defects have been reported including eye, hearing loss, and impaired growth.
· Not all babies with mothers infected with the Zika virus have been born with health problems.
· The Zika virus infection at later times, including the time of birth have not been linked to microcephaly.
So what does this information tell us?
It may not be a lot but more than enough to warm us of the severity of the Zika virus and the risks we put ourselves in if we don’t take the proper precautions.
We should take a lot of precaution to keep ourselves and our children safe. If you are pregnant or planning to have a baby, it is best to steal clear from the countries that are home to Zika infected mosquitos. The CDC says it’s not worth the risk! So please plan your vacations accordingly.
Here are some tips you may find helpful:
1. Wear bug repellent. You can find the right bug repellent for you and your family here.
2. Protect your children from mosquito bites by dressing them in clothing that covers arms and legs.
3. Protect your children from mosquito bites by covering crib, stroller, & baby carrier with mosquito netting.
4. If you plan to have a baby or are pregnant try to avoid travel to places where the Zika virus is prominent. For example, DR, PR and Guyana.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with Stiletto Media and Northwell Health-Go Health Urgent Care to provide awareness and information on the Zika virus. All opinions are my own.