Doctors issue warning on dangerous Zika virus

We're familiar with mosquitoes carrying West Nile but now, another virus, known as Zika, is gaining traction. Doctors are linking it to newborn deaths across the world.

Dr. Robert Glatter, Emergency Physician at Lenox Hill Hospital says the CDC has a warning in effect for all travel to Latin America and the Caribbean not to travel “And I advise women not to travel until we have more information” he said.  

Dr. Glatter says Zika virus started in Africa in the 1940s but there have never been reported outbreaks until now. Officials say only one in five see mild symptoms such as fever, joint pain and headaches. However pregnant women are more likely to give birth to children with a condition known as microcephaly - characterized by a small head and undeveloped brain.

The virus has spread to 14 places including Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico, with one known case already reported in the U.S.  In Brazil, officials say Zika is responsible for more than 3500 cases of microcephaly in just the past few months. Until last year, the country had fewer than 200 cases each year.

“Because of this global economy and travel now that is ever present, we see viruses spreading” Dr. Glatter said.

Right now there's no vaccine for the Zika virus. If you plan on traveling, doctors say it's important to use insect repellent containing Deet that's safe for pregnant women.

                        

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