The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has advised pregnant women not to travel in Central or South America until further information about the effects of the Zika virus on their baby is known.
Zika, a recently identified virus similar to the West Nile, spreads by mosquitos. If a mother is infected with Zika while pregnant, a birth defect may occur. Researchers have not yet developed an antiviral drug to combat the Zika virus.
Most symptoms are mild. However persons bitten by an infected mosquito may experience fever, a rash, joint pain and inflammation of the eyes. Some may also experience headache, muscle pain, and nausea.
Prevention includes the appropriate use of insect repellents and mosquito netting when visiting countries where Zika virus has been detected. For now, the CDC is recommending that pregnant women not travel to these areas.