Zika virus is one of the viruses that a lot of people are afraid of. Not just the youngsters, but also the older ones, and even pregnant women are anxious about getting in contact with this virus. Furthermore, did you know, some also claim that it may also affect the fertility. If you want to learn more about the effects of Zika virus on fertility, give this article a read.
What is Zika Virus?
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The Zika virus infection is actually a condition that is mainly transmitted by the mosquitoes. The World Health Organization or WHO also declare this as an international public health emergency. Mainly, this is because more and more is getting in contact with it all over the world.
The infection is actually mild and is like a flu, yet has a very devastating impact on the health, especially of the unborn child. This is if either of the parents has been exposed to the virus. Furthermore, Zika virus may also cause microcephaly –a birth defect where the head of a baby is much smaller than what parents expect it to be. If you compare it with some other babies of the same gender and sex, the baby who has Zika virus has a much smaller upper head portion.
The children who get an exposure to the Zika and are born with microcephaly are at a much higher risk of having a range of disabilities. This includes disabilities in the cognition, physical appearance, and even in language. All of these disabilities may persist throughout their entire lives.
Currently, there is no medication that may help in treating Zika virus. There is also no vaccination that may help in preventing it. Furthermore, in various parts of Asia, Africa, and USA, the virus is still in active state of transmission. Meaning, it is still spreading through the said regions. The result? It is so important to be well-aware on the possible presence of the virus when you travel.
Zika Virus: Who gets affected by it?
In the actual fact, anyone can be infected by Zika virus. However, health professionals are mostly concerned about women and men of reproductive age who travel from places who have an outbreak of the infection.
Particularly, it affects those who are trying to conceive and those who are already pregnant.
If you are in the aforementioned categories and have any travel plans, the first thing that you need to do is to check if the Zika virus is active in the country you’re travelling to.
Zika Virus on Fertility: Can you get it if you’re not pregnant?
If you’re not pregnant or don’t have any plans to conceiving, there is actually no need for you to avoid doing some travels. This is because the complications that come from Zika are so rare. Nevertheless, it is so important to make certain that you are still doing the following so that there is no bad effects of Zika virus on fertility and health, in general:
- If you are a woman who just recently came from a particular area that is active with Zika virus transmission, and experiences some symptoms like flu, rash, or fever, immediately seek for medical attention.
- Keep on using condoms even after you have already returned from your travel. Remember, women must use a barrier protection for about 8 weeks after coming back home. On the other hand, men must use a barrier protection for about 6 months after returning.
- The virus may have its transmission through sexual intercourse. Therefore, avoid any sexual contact without using any protection. You also need to start using barrier protection before your travels.
- Avoid any mosquito bites. You can do this by wearing a loose-fitting clothes, long sleeves,and trousers, as well as mosquito repellents. It is during the day that the Aedes aegypti is active and may transmit the virus.
Zika Virus on Fertility: Is it safe to travel to regions with Zika virus outbreak if you’re pregnant?
If you are pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, you need to avoid any non-essential travels to various areas that has moderate to high risk of Zika virus transmission.
Nonetheless, if you cannot really avoid travelling, make sure that you do the following:
- Seek some psychological support. You need to learn about the possible risks of Zika, as well as the ways of preventing the infection. Furthermore, you also need to make sure that you get the necessary support and care.
- Get a test for Zika virus during your stay in your travel, as well as after you get back from it. There are some clinics that offer blood tests for Zika virus, especially those who are manifesting some symptoms.
- Protect yourself from any mosquito bites.
- Don’t forget to use condoms during, as well as after your travel.
So there you have it, I hope you learned a lot about the possible effects of Zika virus on fertility, and some other necessary facts about this condition.