A few of you have emailed me about what’s going on with pregnant women in relation to the Zika virus.
Here’s the sitch:
We’ve known about this mosquito-borne illness since the 1950s. It causes symptoms like headache, fever, rash, etc. in your average person, however, it seems to be causing a surge of microcephaly cases in certain areas. This is a condition where babies’ brains stop growing and causes abnormally small heads. From what I can gather, the first trimester is the most dicey time.
There is no vaccine for the virus and avoiding bites from the virus-host mosquito is the only way to prevent infection.
So, The CDC issued a Level 2 warning when traveling to the following countries*:
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Martin
- Cape Verde
* There are three CDC warning levels:
Level 1 – wear sunscreen and use common sense so you aren’t robbed in a dark alley at 2am because you aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto.
Level 2 – There could be some unique health and safety risks in this area but if you want to go, that’s cool, we just wanted to warn you that some no-so-great stuff is going down.
Level 3 – Don’t go. It’s bad and if you end up making the papers, people will read it and say, “Well, what the hell did they expect going to XX?!”
Do you face a bunch of eye rolls from people saying, “You canceled your dream vacation because you’re scared of a bug?!” – because it’s really easy to say when you’re not the one taking the risk.
The resources I found helpful are here and here and here. Just be sure to pay close attention to your sources when you’re reading around the interwebs – anything that is random and can affect pregnant women is excellent click bait.
And here is the information I collected on bug spray safety during pregnancy as well.
I swear this is yet another reason to hate mosquitoes.
P.S. How long will it take for someone to shrill “No vacation is worth the risk to a baby!!” when I post this on Facebook to make us feel extra turdy? I give it six comments.