The Zika Virus has become a major concern for the the World Health Organization. The mosquito-borne illness may be linked to birth defects including microcephaly in newborns. Dr. Samantha Morton of Carolina Women’s Physicians, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, was a guest on WLTX to talk about what moms-to-be in South Carolina need to know about this virus.
Here are some notes from Dr. Morton’s interview:
1. The Zika Virus is transmitted by a mosquito that has previously bitten someone who has the virus.
2. While the mosquito that can carry the Zika Virus is in South Carolina, no patients have been diagnosed with the Zika Virus from a mosquito that has bitten them in the United States.
3. There is some evidence that the Zika Virus may be responsible for causing some birth defects including microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s brain does not grow properly during pregnancy. But so far, there is no definitive link.
4. The only people who need to be concerned right now are individuals who have traveled to areas that are endemic for the Zika Virus, including South America, Central America and Mexico. for this particular virus. If you have symptoms, talk to your health care provider.
5. Pregnant women should avoid travel to the countries where cases have been diagnosed.
For more information about the Zika Virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.