When Are Pregnant Women The Most Vulnerable To The Zika Virus?
It has been over two years now since Zika first ravaged Brazil and then made its way up into the southern United States. After two years, and billions of dollars in funding, you would think that the world’s top scientists would know more about how the world will be impacted by the Zika virus in the future. Since the beginning, pregnant women have been of primary concern to researchers since the Zika virus results in severe birth defects. There is no doubt that pregnant women and their offspring suffer the most from the Zika virus. In non-pregnant people, Zika can come and go, sometimes without being noticed by the victim, but Zika will leave a permanent mark on the children of mothers who have contracted the virus. But despite the research already conducted, scientists have only recently gained insights into when pregnant mothers are at the greatest risk for permanently damaging the health of their unborn children.
New research released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shed some light on the dangers that Zika poses to pregnant women. According to the report, five percent of pregnant women living with the Zika virus ended up giving birth to children that had Zika related birth defects. The collection of pregnant women that were taken into account for this study only included women from the United States and its territories.
The report confirmed results from an earlier study that showed that pregnant women are most at risk for fetal damage from Zika during their first trimester. In fact, one in twelve women who birthed children with physical defects ended up falling ill with Zika during their first trimester. However, the researchers were sure to point out that birth defects could occur at any point during a pregnancy. Researchers need to collect more daa from recent cases in order to better understand how to prevent birth defects in mothers infected with Zika.
Do you think that the Zika virus will be around for several more years to come? Why or why not?