Dr Hunter on the danger of Zika virus for pregnant women

Tamara HunterChannel 9

zika virus

“The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes. The particular species is the Aedes species found in urban areas and also during the day, which is very different to what we expect from mosquitoes when they come out. The Aedes family is found in South East Asia and also in north Australia,” says Dr Tamara Hunter to Nine News in Perth, Western Australia.

“The biggest issue is that there is transplacental transmission of this virus. So a pregnant woman can contract the zika virus, transfer it to her baby and that baby can be born with congenital zika syndrome. The brain might not develop properly, spasticity, seizures, muscular disorders. In Brazil, where we know there is an epidemic, 1.3 million babies have been born with congenital zika syndrome.”

“The group that I see, many young couples, they pop off to Bali or Thailand or Malaysia, for a quick baby moon before they decide to get pregnant and that’s possibly the worst thing that they could do,” says Dr Tamara Hunter. “The high risk places for zika virus are Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, even Vietnam. All of these are considered moderate to high risk on http://www.smartraveller.gov.au.

If you’re trying to fall pregnant, and you’re planning a trip to South East Asia, talk to your travel doctor or specialist.