If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or know someone who is, it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites this summer.
I also wanted to share a post written by my colleague Barb Carr about the zika virus. I think it is very important for our pregnant moms out there.
When a woman is pregnant and is infected with the Zika virus, it may cross the placenta and may stop the development of a baby’s brain. Zika infection during pregnancy causes a birth defect called microcephaly as well as other brain problems known as “fetal brain disruption sequence.”
Microcephaly means small (micro) head (cephaly) – a baby’s head is smaller than the heads of babies of the same age and sex. Microcephaly does not always cause serious problems for a baby. But in certain cases, microcephaly can cause lasting consequences, such as intellectual and developmental disabilities. Babies born with microcephaly may have cerebral palsy, poor growth, face deformities, feeding problems, seizures, problems with hearing or vision, and hyperactivity. They may face life-threatening medical conditions. Microcephaly caused by the Zika virus may be severe and is extremely concerning.
There is no cure for microcephaly. Babies with microcephaly will need regular medical check-ups and follow up care. Many will need specialized treatment by doctors such as a neurologist, developmental and behavioral pediatrician, and rehabilitation specialists. Early intervention services for babies and toddlers as well as special education services for children ages 3 and older, may be essential in helping a child develop.
Fetal brain disruption sequence refers to the halting of the development of a baby’s brain as a result of being exposed to the Zika virus. This stop in development can result in a wide variety of health problems for the baby, which can be lifelong.
The Zika virus may also be linked to growth problems in the womb, miscarriage and stillbirth.
Currently, there are no FDA-approved vaccines to prevent Zika. But, the FDA (The US Food and Drug Administration) has approved the first Zika vaccine study in human volunteers, ahead of schedule. Clinical trials should begin in the next few weeks. Although this is great news, it could take years before a safe vaccine is available to the public.
How can you stay safe?
The Zika virus is real and dangerous. Until a vaccine is available, learn all you can about how to stay safe.
The March of Dimes maintains up-to-the-minute information and materials for women and families on our website and social media. All of our information is drawn from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and other trusted sources, and available in both English and Spanish. Learn more at:
What is the March of Dimes doing in the campaign to keep pregnant moms safe from zika:
Finally, I wanted to share some information about a few up to date things the March of Dimes is doing to keep moms safe from zika.
Other Interesting Zika News
We help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. And if something goes wrong, we offer information and comfort to families. We research the problems that threaten our babies and work on preventing them.
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