50% Of Zika Cases In Utah Have Been Pregnant Women
Utah health officials are trying to raise awareness about the risks of Zika for pregnant women and babies in utero. Of the eight known cases in the state, four were pregnant at the time of infection.
The population most at risk for serious health problems related to Zika are babies in the womb. That’s according to Amy Nance, Program Manager for the Utah Birth Defect Network.
“The pregnancy complications that are related to Zika are microcephaly, also hearing and vision problems, and central nervous system defects are what have been found thus far,” Nance says.
In Utah, two women who have contracted Zika are currently pregnant, and two have already given birth. Nance says there have so far been no complications with the babies who were born. “We’re monitoring these pregnancies and then doing follow up on all of the babies to make sure that there aren’t any other developmental delays, or anything happening later that might not be seen at delivery.”
Nance says all four of these women contracted the virus while traveling. She and other health officials are trying to get the word out that pregnant women should avoid travel to areas with Zika, they should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, and should avoid sex with partners who have traveled to areas with Zika. “What we’re seeing is that even though this has been out in the news, women aren’t really hearing that advice.”
Nance says pregnant women should talk to a physician about travel plans or call the hotline found at MotherToBaby.org for information.