The Centre for Disease Control issued a warning for pregnant women planning on travelling to South America. The region has been experience an outbreak of the mosquito borne Zika Virus. The infection is not usually considered that severe, a rash and mild pain. However, if a pregnant woman becomes infected there is a risk of the baby being born with Microcephaly, a rare birth defect that causes an abnormally small head. The long term effects of the condition on an individual can include a difficulty walking, learning and they will often experience seizures.
Brazil has been hit hardest by the virus, according to authorities, nearly 4,000 babies have been born with Microcephaly since October, 49 of them have died. 1.5 million people in brazil had been affected by Zika in 2015, 20 times more than previous years. The virus has also infected at least 13,500 people so far in Columbia, with cases expected to rise to nearly 700,000.
More than 20 Countries have been added to the list of places which pregnant women have been advised to avoid travelling too. Just last week a woman in Hawaii gave birth to a child with Microcephaly after living in Brazil early on in her pregnancy. It is important to know that the link between the Zika virus and Microcephaly has not yet been proven beyond doubt, but there is very strong evidence in favour of it.