Are pregnant women more prone to Zika? What precautions can one take to have a safe pregnancy?

Associate Professor Jenny Low Guek Hong, Senior Consultant at the Department of Infectious Diseases, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth​ group, shares some facts on the dangers of the Zika virus to pregnant womenas well as how you can help prevent it, if you already ​are pregnant.

7. Is the Zika virus dangerous for pregnant women?

According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), there is no evidence to suggest that pregnant women are more prone to the Zika virus.

Studies are still being conducted as to whether or not the Zika virus causes a neurological disorder where infants are born with smaller brains and skull part called craniums, a condition known as microcephaly.

However, there is a suspected link between the two due to a spike in microcephaly cases in Brazil during the time of the Zika outbreak.

8. Why is microcephaly a ​cause for concern?

Infants with microcephaly face mental and physical developmental problems due to impaired brain development. In turn, they may have shorter lifespans.

There is currently no cure for microcephaly.

9. If you're ​​already pregnant, what should you do to prevent the Zika virus

Aside from rethinking your travel plans to countries with reported cases or outbreaks of the Zika virus, takepreventive measuresagainst mosquito bites.

Deet, which has been around for almost 50 years, is still the most effective ingredient in repelling insects. It is safe for pregnant women to use at a maximal recommended concentration of 20 per cent.

Pregnant women can also consider insect repellents containing picaridin (also known as icaridin), at the same maximal 20 per cent concentration.

How to prevent Zika infection during pregnanc​y​

​​​​​Zika Virus & Pregnancy: What to Note

Continue reading​ ​for the latest updates on zika in Singapore and Internationally.​

Ref: P16