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The Zika virus may not be a problem in the cool climes of Scotland but it is spreading explosively in many holiday hotspots and you should think carefully about going to the Olympics or any of the affected countries if you are pregnant or hoping to conceive, including parts of Latin America, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic and Philippines.
A causal relationship between Zika virus infection and birth malformations has not yet been proven, but is strongly suspected. Pregnant women are not at risk – nor are children – but the disease affects the foetus which can contract Microcephaly which affects brain formation.
“The possible links, recently suspected, have changed the risk profile of Zika, from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions” says Margaret Chan Director General of the World Health Organisation.
The disease is transferred by mosquito bites. If you are thinking of conceiving and travelling to an affected area you should invest in excellent repellant and a mosquito net, and cover up as much as possible both day and night. Light coloured clothes are best. You should use a condom for a month after you return before trying to conceive.
Pregnant women should seriously consider before travelling to an infected area. If you are unsure about travelling or suspect you might have been infected while abroad, you should consult your doctor. Airlines and travel insurance companies will accept a doctor’s letter to meet refund and cancellation policy requirements.
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