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Where Is Zika Virus? Pregnant Mothers Want to Know

Katie Dupuis - The Huffington Post Canada
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May 31, 2016
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The World Health Organization has rejected demands for this summer's Rio Olympics to be moved or postponed due to the Zika virus. (Euronews)

Reports of Zika virus are terrifying for expectant parents. The disease is usually banal for the average person, with mild symptoms that rarely escalate to anything more than a few days of feeling under the weather.

However, the virus has the potential to cause two major complications: Guillain-Barré syndrome, in which your immune system attacks your nerves; and serious birth defects in unborn children, including a brain defect called microcephaly.

Babies with microcephaly have heads that are smaller than the typical size of other babies of the same sex and age, which can mean that the skull and brain stopped developing either during the pregnancy or after birth. Severe microcephaly is an extreme form of the condition.

How can you get Zika? The disease can be contracted in areas of active outbreaks via a specific type of infected mosquito or can be sexually transmitted.

Here is a list of countries and territories where cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed. If you're expecting or planning to become pregnant, these are the places you should be aware of.

North America

Canada, United States, Mexico, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Barbados, U.S. Virgin Islands, Saint Barthélemy, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cuba, Dominica, Saint Lucia

South America

Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, Paraguay, Venezuela, French Guiana, Guyana, Ecuador, Bolivia, Curaçao, Aruba, Peru, Argentina, Bonaire, Trinidad and Tobago

Europe

France, Spain

Africa

Cape Verde, Uganda, Tanzania

Asia

Maldives, Vietnam, South Korea, Bangladesh, Laos

Oceania

Tonga, Marshall Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, New Caledonia, Kosrae (Federated States of Micronesia)

To learn more about the Zika virus, check out four things pregnant women need to know

Read the rest at The Huffington Post Canada

Related: Zika Virus: WHO Now Says Women Trying to Conceive Should Abstain from Sex for 8 Weeks (The Associated Press)

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