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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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