Doctor Warns Pregnant Women of Zika Virus Effects
CORPUS CHRISTI – A Corpus Christi-based doctor said he’s seeing more pregnant mothers being diagnosed with the Zika virus.
Dr. John Visintine, an OB/GYN specializing in maternal fetal medicine, said there’s a lack of understanding about the disease and the serious effects it can have on newborns.
“We’ve had several women come in who just had no idea,” he said.
Dr. Visintine said he’s seeing more cases of the congenital Zika syndrome. The virus can cause microcephaly in babies which can affect the child’s brain development, hearing and vision.
“We are learning daily about the virus and its effect on pregnancies and babies,” he said.
Dr. Visintine said he’s delivered several babies with microcephaly. He said some show more mild signs of the disorder.
He said awareness is the only weapon available to fight the epidemic.
“There’s no treatment available for these children and there’s no vaccine to prevent it. The only thing we’re left with is avoiding mosquito bites and protection from sexual transmission,” he said.
Rio Grande Valley health officials said it’s only a matter of time before local mosquitos start spreading the Zika virus again.
Until a vaccine become available, taking precautions is all women can do to protect their unborn child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pregnant women get tested for the virus in both their first and second trimester.
Zika can be contracted from a mosquito bite or from a sexual partner that’s been infected with the virus.
People are advised to wear bug spray with DEET when outdoors, wear clothes that cover their skin and remove any stagnant water in their properties where mosquitoes can breed.
Most people infected with Zika have very mild or no symptoms at all. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.
The Texas Health and Human Services recommends you to get tested for Zika if you develop any of these symptoms.
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