Few can now fail to be aware of the outbreak of Zika virus in Latin America, and the potentially life changing effects that an infection of Zika virus is believed to have on an unborn foetus, in causing microcephaly. Whilst our hearts go out to those affected by the virus, we are also concerned that pregnant women in the UK do not suffer undue anxiety regarding the outbreak, as the media coverage of this issue continues to build. Zika virus is not expected to affect the UK for the following reasons:
1) The Zika virus is spread through a bite from a specific mosquito- the Aedes mosquito
2) This mosquito does not reside in colder climates such as the UK
3) The Zika virus is spread prinicipally through the mosquito bite, so everyday contact with someone who has been to the affected area should not be considered a risk. There is a possibility that it is spread through sexual intercourse, however.
4) The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being bitten by mosquitos if you are in an at-risk area, and of course, to avoid those areas if at all possible.
If you remain concerned that you may have been exposed to the virus, please consult your doctor as soon as possible.
You can read the latest full information in the Zika virus from the World Health Organisation (WHO) at this link http://who.int/features/qa/zika/en/#.VqclGqqNYic.mailto