Monday 26 September 2016

Women in Zika-hit areas told 'cover up your skin and practise safe sex'

Rachael Alexander

Published 11/02/2016 | 02:30

Karen Lee of the Experimental Therapeutics Centre prepares a Zika virus diagnostic test kit at their laboratory in Singapore.
Karen Lee of the Experimental Therapeutics Centre prepares a Zika virus diagnostic test kit at their laboratory in Singapore.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised women in areas with the Zika virus to protect themselves, especially during pregnancy, by covering up against mosquitoes and practising safe sex.

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It issued recommendations yesterday for women regarding microcephaly and other neurological disorders linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus that has been found in more than 30 countries, but did not issue travel restrictions, instead suggesting that women consult their doctors or authorities if travelling.

Predict

"Most women in Zika-affected areas will give birth to normal infants.

"Early ultrasound does not reliably predict microcephaly except in extreme cases," the WHO said.

"Women who wish to terminate a pregnancy due to a fear of microcephaly should have access to safe abortion services to the full extent of the law."

Meanwhile, in London health officials are tracking a number of women who have travelled to countries affected by the Zika virus.

Public Health England said it was monitoring various surveillance systems and tracking women who call in with concerns about the virus.

Speaking to the UK's Science and Technology Committee, Dr Dilys Morgan, head of the gastrointestinal, emerging and zoonotic infections department at Public Health England, said women who want to be tested for the virus are being documented and other registries are being closely monitored.

Irish Independent

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