A health alert has been issued for the Zika Virus warning pregnant women to avoid traveling to parts of Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Zika is a virus spread to people through bites of infected mosquitoes. About 1 in 5 people who are infected become sick. For the people who become sick, the most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms begin two to 12 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms tend to be mild and last for a week. Most people fully recover and do not need to be hospitalized. However, several months following the outbreak of Zika in Brazil, a large increase in the number of babies born with a congenital birth defect called microcephaly was observed. Microcephaly describes a baby or child with a smaller than normal head. New Yorkers traveling to countries impacted by this disease are potentially at risk. Pregnant women should consider delaying travel to affected countries until more information is gathered. Pregnant women who have recently traveled to effected countries should consult with their doctor.