An outbreak of Zika virus in Central and South America has prompted health warnings; the illness is especially dangerous to pregnant women and their unborn children. Though officials say an outbreak is unlikely in the US, there are travel advisories to countries where Zika is spreading. UC Davis Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Dr. Dean Blumberg, explained this virus and its dangers.
Blumberg told Beth Ruyak there's a wide-range of outcomes when babies are born with the defect.
"One can be born with a small head and have normal growth, normal development and a normal outcome. But if it's severe it can cause severe brain damage and severe developmental delay for these children," he explained on Insight this morning.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning pregnant women to postpone trips to area in South America and the Caribbean affected by the virus.
"If you have the option to not be in one of those countries, so in the U.S. it means not to travel to one of those countries, if one is pregnant or thinking about being pregnant, then it just makes sense that you wouldn't travel and face that danger," said Blumberg.
The travel alert applies to: Mexico, Brazil, Panama, Haiti and about ten other countries and territories.