The pandemic spreading of the Zika virus has given pregnant women everywhere another reason to worry. Although the odds of contracting the virus are slim right now, there are some key things every mom-to-be should know.
What is the Zika virus?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection. In most cases, the symptoms were mild with only one in five people infected developing symptoms.
How is it treated?
It is important to note there is no vaccine or medicine to treat the Zika infection. Rather, one can only treat the symptoms of the virus with rest, plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, pain and fever relievers, and aspirin other anti-inflammatory medicine.
What are the dangers to pregnant women?
While experts are not certain how it happens or whether the Zika virus is the cause, it has been confirmed that Zika can spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Doctors in Brazil noticed a sudden increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly, unusually small heads and often damaged brains. While the defects are not confirmed to be linked to infection, it is highly probably and an assumed risk.
How can one prevent infection?
The list of specific locations affected by the Zika virus changes frequently so, if you intend to travel, be sure to consult with your doctor to discuss risk of infection. If you travel to or near an area impacted by the Zika virus, be sure to pack our list of must-have survival items to decrease your chances of contracting the disease:
- Insect repellent. Purchase multiple options before traveling! Not only are prices usually cheaper and the selection much larger in your local stores but also you never know how your skin will react. Buy both the cream-based and waterproof spray and buy a few!
- Long sleeve shirts and pants. Sheer or linen are great ways to provide barriers between your skin and the elements.
- Large-brimmed hats are great for both sun and mosquito protection. Scalp and hairline bites can often go unnoticed and unprotected so make a big fashion statement and protect yourself at the same time!
- Comfortable, breathable closed-toe shoes. Feet are another area of the body that can go unprotected against the elements. We understand closed-toe shoes are not the most ideal option for some pregnant women. Try purchasing shoes that are made for walking and comfort and consider purchasing a size up to account for swelling.
The unknowns surrounding the Zika virus and its effects on pregnant women, and their unborn children, are astounding. Your safety and health are of the utmost importance during this time of your life. Stay informed of the latest developments by visiting the CDC’s website often and do not hesitate to ask your doctor for more information.
Written by: Tabitha Keese, Staff Writer, Modern Domestic, Founder of Shipwrecked on Fabulous Island Blog