Two pregnant Connecticut women infected with the mosquito-born Zika virus are still under monitoring, The Department of Public Health announced.
So far health officials in the state reported six cases. Four of the patients made a full recovery from the virus. The two pregnant women will continue to be kept under observation for the whole duration of their pregnancy. When contracted while pregnant, the Zika virus can be transmitted from mother to child and cause birth defects such as microcephaly.
The Zika virus is spread by Aedes mosquitos, that are active during daytime. The most common carrier is the female of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, but other species were identified as well. In many cases, Zika infections do not cause symptoms and is treated by rest. However, between 2013 and 2014 outbreaks of the virus were recorded across Oceania, in New Caledonia, Easter Islands, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands. Later, in 2015, the virus spread in Central and South America as well as in the Caribbean, where the outbreak reached pandemic levels. Due to the fact that it currently cannot be prevented by medication or vaccines, the virus became the cause of serious public health concern. The spread of the virus is linked to the distribution of the mosquitos carrying it. However, of late global trade and travel have increased the distribution of the mosquitos around the world.
In response, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel warning. Specifically, it advised travelers to take precautions and informed pregnant women on the risks associated with traveling to the areas affected while pregnant. The guidelines also recommended that, if possible, pregnant women avoid traveling altogether to the areas mentioned. Health authorities in badly hit countries such as Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica and Colombia even advised women to postpone pregnancies until more information becomes available.
It was reported that, when they became infected with the Zika virus, the Connecticut patients were traveling in Ecuador, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Puerto Rico. In response to the cases, Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Raul Pino issued a reminder for travelers heading to Zika affected areas during the upcoming summer months. Pino stressed it was “very important” for travelers to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and reminded pregnant women of the risks associated with Zika infections.
Image source: Wikipedia