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Zika Virus and Pregnancy

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Zika Virus and Pregnancy

Zika Virus and Pregnancy

Dr. Meenakshi Sauhta - Max Gurgaon
Head of the Department
Obstetrics And Gynaecology

The news in tinsel town is that Aedes mosquito is back in India! This mosquito is already a well known transmitter of Dengue, Chickengunia and Yellow fever. But this time it is carrying a Zika Virus with it, which is specially affecting the fetus of pregnant women. As we already have the climatic conditions similar to those countries where this virus is found, this mosquito is capable of surviving in cold temperatures. There are two types of Aedes mosquito that are capable of transmitting this virus. The one that is transmitting this virus is “Aedesaegypt” mosquito and primarily found in tropical and subtropical regions. The other “Aedesalbopictus” mosquito is also capable of transmitting this virus and can hibernate and survive in cold temperatures. These mosquitoes bite more than one person and can survive without water for more than one year. A small quantity of standing water is enough for the eggs to develop into larvae and then adult mosquitoes. This mosquito cannot fly more than 400 meters and hence they get transported by humans./

Symptoms of this Virus

  • Mild flu with fever
  • Body aches
  • Rashes
  • Muscle pains
  • Fatigue

All these symptoms will pass of within 2-7 days without having any major effects on infected individual. However, the situation is different with women who are pregnant and in their first trimester of pregnancy because this is the period of organogenesis (development of fetus). Though the pregnant women exhibit mild like flu symptoms but they are not affected from this virus; however her fetus may be damaged for life.

A real risk of microcephaly in the fetus has been found out in pregnant women. Microcephaly is a neurological condition in which the baby’s head is smaller and they are usually born mentally challenged. They also experience development and intellectual delays and suffer from a hearing loss.

Advice to be noted: You are responsible for your health and normal development of your baby. It is better to be safe than sorry

  • Ensure that your house does not harbor mosquito breeding sites
  • Avoid visiting public places that are infested with mosquitoes.
  • Don’t travel in the first three months of pregnancy
  • In case of flu like symptoms, kindly visit your doctor immediately.