Zika Virus and Pregnancy
Zika Blamed for Increase in Cases of Microcephaly
Zika virus infections first arose in Brazil in May 2015. Pregnant women, especially those in the first and early second trimester, in areas where the disease is prevalent should try to avoid any mosquito bites. Officials in Brazil are concerned since almost 4,000 babies (very unusually high number as compared to similar time periods in which only about 150 babies were diagnosed with microcephaly) have been born with microcephaly since May 2015. In addition, Dr. R. Coeli, a pediatrician in Brazil, has reported Zika viruses isolated from the amniotic fluid of two women and one infant's brain and heart tissue -- results she concludes that tie the Zika virus to microcephaly development. Officials have taken the unusual step to recommend women avoid pregnancy until the cause of the increase in microcephaly is definitively determined.