Airlines Offering Travel Accommodations For Pregnant Women Following Zika Virus Concerns

Texas has reported two confirmed travel-related cases of Zika virus disease in the state, both in the southeast Texas area.

According to the World Health Organization the Zika virus is "spreading explosively" and that the "level of concern is high". Only about one in five individuals who are infected actually show symptoms that include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.

Since the beginning of November a year ago, the USA public health agency has been functioning with the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the WHO to understand the sudden rise in cases of microcephaly, which is a birth defect identified by tiny head size that is apparently associated with Zika. You can see the list here.

The disease is spread by the Aedes species of mosquito, a mosquito that used to be found only in tropical and subtropical areas but is now found on every continent except Antarctica. Although the risk of virus establishment in Canada is low, there is ongoing risk to Canadians travelling to endemic regions. Doctors say to their knowledge, none of the four cases in Canada involve pregnant women. "We need the research that is necessary for effective treatment, rapid diagnosis and prevention", Blumenthal said. Zika typically lasts a few days to a week, and it is uncommon for it to be severe enough to require hospitalization.

Also, if you have traveled to these destinations while pregnant, get tested, because 80 percent of those infected have no symptoms.

However, with the onset of spring and summer, the risk of Zika virus transmission in Europe will grow, as mosquitoes find better breeding grounds in warmer climates.

"It's important for them to go in because we really don't know right now whether having symptoms or not having symptoms with Zika virus infection has any impact on the possibility that there will be a birth defect in the child", she said. Much of the effort against the illness focuses on protecting people from mosquitoes and reducing mosquito populations.

Three Canadians have brought back the Zika virus recently after contracting it overseas, CBC News has learned. There has been one case reportedly spread through sexual contact.

Between 2010 and 2014, an average of nearly 1.4 million United Kingdom residents a year travelled to South and Central America and the Caribbean.

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