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Travel warning for pregnant women for Zika virus

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 06:57:37-05

If you're pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, you'll want to review any upcoming travel plans.

As 7 Eyewitness News reported earlier this week, the CDC has issued a travel advisory because of the Zika virus.

Cases are now being reported in four state: Illinois, Florida, Texas and Hawaii. Health officials believe travelers brought the virus into the US.

But this virus can be downright dangerous for a developing fetus if its mother contracts the virus. Zika is a mosquito borne illness and is linked to severe birth defects, including severe brain damage.

Right now there is no vaccine or treatment for Zika and that's why the CDC is urging pregnant women to think twice before traveling certain countries in Central and South America, where the virus is prevalent.

Brazil is a hot spot for virus more than 3,000 babies have been born in recent months with several birth defects linked to Zika.

"If a woman is infected and she's pregnant it can cause some very serious health outcomes for the newborn especially what we call microcephaly which is where the baby is born with a very small head because the brain is deformed and the baby will have a lot of developmental abnormalities," said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health.

These mosquitos can also survive in warmer climates here in the US.

People are being urged to use extra caution. Simple things like bug spray and keeping skin covered can help prevent the disease.

Many people who contract the Zika virus never display any symptoms while others may present with a fever or rash. If that's the case you should contact your doctor right away.

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