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5 Things Every Pregnant Woman Should Know About the Zika Virus

5 Things Every Pregnant Woman Should Know About the Zika Virus

It was not long ago when the Zika Virus first came into the world picture. However, within a span of 1 year, the virus has rapidly spread across to close to 40 countries in the world. The risks and education of the Zika Virus are still going on, and it has become clear that the impact of the virus is more dangerous than it was anticipated before.

The Zika Virus was first found in South America but later it has traveled to many countries. The WHO has already announced emergency for the same. However, the most shocking part of the Zika Virus is that it can affect a pregnant woman and the fetus badly. As per the reports, Zika Virus can result in birth defects, and that can be dangerous in nature. It is therefore very important for every pregnant woman to know and understand about the Zika Virus.

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What is the Zika Virus?

Zika Virus is an insect-borne illness that can be transmitted primarily from Aedes mosquitoes. Zika is the name of a forest in Uganda where monkeys were found to be infected with this virus. It is named after the forest.

Why is it dangerous for pregnant women?

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If you are pregnant, or you are planning to conceive, then, the Zika Virus is possibly the worst name you can hear now. The dangerous impact of the virus can be immense starting from complexities during pregnancy, pregnancy loss, to a baby born with birth defects. The baby born with birth defects is called Microcephaly and has been attributed to the Zika Virus. There are two things that are very important here. The first is, if you are infected, then don’t try to conceive until you are completely cured. The impact of the virus on a non-pregnant person can be controlled and is often very minimal. However, if you are pregnant and unfortunately got infected by the virus, then it is important to be careful about everything you do. The report of pregnancy week by week should be monitored by the doctors.

Here are the things that you must know if you are a pregnant woman:

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1. Don’t travel there

The first thing that you must realize is that when you are pregnant, you must not travel to the countries that are known for the Zika Virus. Most of the countries that are known for the Zika Virus are in South America. It is always better to be safe than to exposure yourself to an unwanted risk.

2. No unprotected sex

You must be very careful about sex and intercourse when you are pregnant. The CDC has already confirmed that the Zika Virus can be transmitted sexually, and that is a great risk. If you are having sex with anyone who has come from an area where Zika Virus is prevalent, and then uses condoms. The medical experts, in fact, advise to use condoms or any other protected mode of sex during pregnancy, to stop the slightest chances of contracting the Zika Virus.

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3. Do not ignore

During the pregnancy, you must monitor your health very carefully. The symptoms of the Zika Virus are generally like a light flu, so a headache, low fever, rashes, muscle pain, and conjunctivitis are often ignored as normal conditions. However, any of these can be a potential symptom of the Zika Virus. It is always advised that the women should go for the regular health checkups even though there is currently no medical formula to assess the risk of the virus during pregnancy.

4. Diagnosis

It is very important to understand the fact that specific diagnosis of the Zika is not present. However, when it comes to the Zika Virus and pregnant women, there are certain things that should be remembered. The very first thing is that if you have visited any high-risk area for the Zika, then you must go through the diagnosis. It is carried out irrespective of the symptoms. The symptoms can be confusing for the diagnosis, and thus ultrasound is mostly carried out on the pregnant women. However, amniocentesis is followed after that if the report of ultrasound is inconclusive.

Conclusion

The government authorities advise certain risk measurements to counter the risks imposed by the Zika Virus. The majority of the measurements are for controlling exposure to mosquitoes. However, keep in mind that it has also been known to transmit through sexual contact as well. Stay vigilant!

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Ella James

Health and Fitness Writer

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Last Updated on February 25, 2020

Face Adversity with a Smile

Face Adversity with a Smile

I told my friend Graham that I often cycle the two miles from my house to the town centre but unfortunately there is a big hill on the route. He replied, ‘You mean fortunately.’ He explained that I should be glad of the extra exercise that the hill provided.

My attitude to the hill has now changed. I used to grumble as I approached it but now I tell myself the following. This hill will exercise my heart and lungs. It will help me to lose weight and get fit. It will mean that I live longer. This hill is my friend. Finally as I wend my way up the incline I console myself with the thought of all those silly people who pay money to go to a gym and sit on stationery exercise bicycles when I can get the same value for free. I have a smug smile of satisfaction as I reach the top of the hill.

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Problems are there to be faced and overcome. We cannot achieve anything with an easy life. Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to gain a University degree. Her activism and writing proved inspirational. She wrote, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

One of the main determinants of success in life is our attitude towards adversity. From time to time we all face hardships, problems, accidents, afflictions and difficulties. Some are of our making but many confront us through no fault of our own. Whilst we cannot choose the adversity we can choose our attitude towards it.

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Douglas Bader was 21 when in 1931 he had both legs amputated following a flying accident. He was determined to fly again and went on to become one of the leading flying aces in the Battle of Britain with 22 aerial victories over the Germans. He was an inspiration to others during the war. He said, “Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.”

How can you change your attitude towards the adversity that you face? Try these steps:

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  1. Confront the problem. Do not avoid it.
  2. Deliberately take a positive attitude and write down some benefits or advantages of the situation.
  3. Visualise how you will feel when you overcome this obstacle.
  4. Develop an action plan for how to tackle it.
  5. Smile and get cracking.

The biographies of great people are littered with examples of how they took these kinds of steps to overcome the difficulties they faced. The common thread is that they did not become defeatist or depressed. They chose their attitude. They opted to be positive. They took on the challenge. They won.

Featured photo credit: Jamie Brown via unsplash.com

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