Following reports linking Zik-V to micro-encephalitis, an inflammation of the foetal brain that can stunt the growth of the affected foetus’ head, the Ministry of Health has advised women to delay becoming pregnant for the next six to twelve months.
The Ministry also encouraged those already pregnant, to take extra precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes given the possible link between Zika Virus infection and micro-encephalitis.
Well over 1,000 cases of micro-encephalitis have been recorded in Brazil since the outbreak was first detected in April and has since spread to 13 states.
According to the Gleaner, an autopsy on a baby born with microcephaly in the Brazilian state of Ceara revealed the presence of the zika virus, a disease carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also transmits dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya.
Babies who develop the defect in the womb may not live to full term, may be born prematurely, may be still born or may survive but with life-long disability.
Minister of Health, Horace Halley says although there is no absolute proof the evidence from brazil and the information from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and other technical partners is strong enough for the ministry to take this position in seeking to prevent any possible adverse outcome to pregnant women.
The virus continues to move closer to Jamaica having already been detected in Haiti.
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