Pregnant Women Should Consult Doctors On Travel: Brazil’s Health Ministry

Thomson Reuters via

brazil-zika-birth-defectsBrazil’s health ministry said on Monday pregnant women should consult their doctors before travelling to Brazil, but that no other travel restrictions were necessary because of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

The ministry said in a statement that a travel warning from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reinforced measures already adopted by the Brazilian government, such as recommending bug spray and long sleeves to deter mosquitoes.

On Sunday, health officials said a baby born in a Hawaii hospital is the first in the U.S. born with the Zika virus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday it’s also the first infant born in the country with microcephaly associated with Zika virus. It’s a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected. Babies with the condition often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.

The mother likely had the mosquito-borne virus while living in Brazil and her newborn acquired the infection in the womb. Neither the baby nor the mother is infectious.

Officials say there’s no risk of transmission in Hawaii.

Last week, Canadian and U.S. health officials urged pregnant women to consider postponing travel to countries dealing with an outbreak of Zika virus following reports of birth defects in children born to women in Brazil infected with the virus.

Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Vector Borne Infectious Diseases, said he had no idea when the travel advisory might be lifted, noting it would probably still be in effect when the summer Olympics begin in Brazil in August.

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