Pregnant women advised to avoid Florida

Irish women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant are being advised to avoid travelling to Florida in the US.

This follows a number of confirmed cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in some parts of Florida.

Zika is a viral infection that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is usually a mild illness that lasts no longer than seven days. Eight in 10 people infected will not display any symptoms.

However, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), infection with the virus during pregnancy has been ‘strongly linked' with the birth condition microcephaly. Babies affected have unusually small heads and in such cases, the brain may not have formed properly during pregnancy.

There is currently an outbreak of Zika in Central and South America and the Caribbean. However, the Florida Department of Health has identified an area in Miami where the virus is being spread by mosquitoes.

As a result, the Department of Foreign Affairs is advising pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant ‘to consider postponing their travel' to Florida.

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[Posted: Wed 03/08/2016]

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