Zika, Zika, Zika...everywhere you turn someone is talking about Zika and it’s not hard to understand why. Last fall in Brazil, the cases began coming in with unusual frequency. Health care providers noticed an increase in babies born with small heads and small brains, a birth defect called microcephaly. And the questions began pouring in as to why this could be happening? Providers noticed these women lived in or had visited areas affected by the Zika Virus; in fact, out of the first 35 case reports of microcephaly the majority of the moms reported a rash-like illness and some tested positive for Zika.
When Zika hit the news, it was understandably scary for pregnant woman. One of our most vulnerable populations – our babies– are at risk from something we can’t even see with our natural eyes: a virus carried by a mosquito. While we still have much to learn about Zika and pregnancy (including whether it is actually associated with microcephaly), the possibility that there is a risk takes away from the joy and celebration that pregnant woman normally feel and has replaced that with fear and trepidation. As a counselor with MotherToBaby, I know. I’ve heard the fear in the voices of women calling me; even through emails and text messages, the concern has been palpable. So let’s put it all into perspective.
Read the rest at MotherToBaby.org!
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The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR ®) is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education.