HOUSTON, Texas — Health professionals from just one clinic in Houston are saying they are screening about 300 pregnant women per day for the Zika virus. About half of these women are from countries where the Zika virus has been prevalent.
Dr. Natalie Vanek from the Legacy Community Health clinic told the CBS affiliate in Houston, “We have a lot of patients that come back and forth from these endemic areas, so we feel it’s something that we need to do for our patients.” Vanek is an infectious disease specialist.
Dr. Vanek also said, “If there’s a concern, we’re going to have their blood sent to the CDC for testing and I’m sure OB doctors will be doing frequent ultrasounds on these women.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sending the clinic blood tests, and the clinic is examining the women for rashes, aches, or fever.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, health officials say that the danger for contacting the virus is for those who travel to, or are from, Central American and Latin American countries. The virus is extremely dangerous for the unborn babies of pregnant women.
A Brazilian judge has approved abortions for women who have contacted Zika and can prove their unborn has microcephaly or ancenephaly, as reported by Breitbart Texas. In Brazil, abortions are only legal with judicial approval.
Brazil has launched a door-to-door campaign and are using 220,000 soldiers to combat the spread of the virus, as reported by Breitbart News. The medical field has recorded more than 4,000 cases of microcephaly in the nation.
The Zika virus spreads through mosquito bites, in particular from the mosquito Aedes aegypti. The insect also carries diseases such as yellow fever, Chikungunya, and dengue fever.
Breitbart News reported that Brazilian authorities have documented thousands of cases of pregnant women diagnosed with Zika giving birth to babies with microcephaly. Children with microcephaly typically suffer severe mental damage.
The “microcephaly epidemic” is reported to affect at least 20 Brazilian states or more and the federal district. Ancenephaly is a condition in which a fetus is missing a portion of the brain, skull, or scalp. Microcephaly is defined as an abnormal smallness of the head, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development.
As reported by Breitbart News, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned last week that the Zika virus in Latin America has “explosive pandemic potential.” The article also describes how the virus targets the unborn.
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2