There is a current travel warning for pregnant women planning to fly overseas to countries affected by the Zika virus. At present, pregnant women are advised to cancel any travel to the countries that are affected.
The Zika virus is an infection spread by mosquitos, who are most likely to bite humans in the daytime.
Photo credit: The Telegraph
In most cases it is harmless but it has been found to cause serious birth defects, including microcephaly (an abnormally small head) and brain damage.
This can affect women in any trimester of their pregnancy. It should also be noted that women who are planning to become pregnant should also reconsider their travel plans.
The current list of countries of concern includes:

  • Barbados
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • French Guiana
  • Guadelope
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Martinique
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Martin
  • Samoa
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela

Please note this list will be updated as and when the outbreak spreads, and it is advised to check the Smart Traveller site regularly.
In 2015, six Australians were diagnosed with the Zika virus. All contracted the virus overseas.
Only one in five infected people will experience any symptoms. These include fever, joint pain, aches and pains, eye pain and conjunctivitis.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned that the virus is also likely to move through North America. As the issue is changing all the time, the WHO recommends checking their bulletin (click here) for updated information on the countries affected.
The virus can be diagnosed with a simple blood test, however there is no specific treatment or preventative vaccine available. Symptoms can be treated with paracetamol, rest and fluids.
Women who are pregnant and have visited the affected countries should see a doctor to be tested.
Pregnant women in these areas are advised to use insect repellant containing DEET on all exposed areas of skin (this is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women); cover up arms and legs with loose clothing; sleep with mosquito nets; and ensure your bedroom has fly screens on all windows.
Disclaimer: Always speak to your doctor before changing your diet,taking any supplements or undertaking any exercise program in pregnancy. The information on this site is for reference only and is not medical advice and should not be treated as such, and is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional medical advice..
Our plans promote a health weight gain in pregnancy to benefit the mother & baby and you can read more on this here 
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