While the news has been taken over by politics and related world events, other stories get pushed down the list or off the list. Zika virus is one of the stories that has not made most people’s radars in 2017. After arriving on the world scene and dominating the news at this time last year, you may be left wondering if Zika is no longer a threat. You’d be astonished to learn that the threat is as it was last year. Mostly travel-related, and still dangerous especially to pregnant mothers and their babies.
NPR reports that the CDC is still seeing 30-40 cases of Zika in pregnant women each week in the United States. That is not last year’s numbers, but the current rates. While mostly travel related, Zika virus is no less dangerous to the unborn babies they are carrying.
Nearly 1,300 pregnant women in the United States were infected with the Zika virus in 2016. Of which 970 of them completed their pregnancies. With 77 reported pregnancy losses and 51 babies born with birth defects, the threat of Zika virus to pregnant women is real.
The current calculated risks for birth defects in pregnant women infected with Zika are 5% overall. That number jumps to 10% in women who were affirmatively diagnosed and 15% for women who contracted Zika during the first trimester.
The CDC continues to work on learning whether babies not born with obvious immediate effects will show signs of neurological or other disorders later. They also strongly advise women who are pregnant to not travel to areas where Zika virus is a risk. Currently, this includes Florida, Texas, the Caribbean, Latin America and Southeast Asia. But keep an eye on the CDC Zika Travel Guide for the latest information.
At home, we can control the spread of local mosquito-borne viruses such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis with help from Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities. We’ll eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes from your property, leaving you with an enjoyable outdoor living space. Call today.