The number of pregnant women in Costa Rica who have contracted the zika virus continues to grow. In little under a week the number went from 6 to 10 confirmed cases. This Tuesday morning coordinator of the Programa Nacional de Vectores, Rodrigo Marin confirmed the new statistics. The increase in cases of zika is primarily being seen in the province of Guanacaste, specifically the district of Carillo. Marin explained that the rise in cases occurred in two women who had zika and didn’t know they were pregnant.
Zika poses the biggest threat to pregnant women. If someone becomes pregnant while they have zika there is a 14% chance that the child will be born with microcephaly, a serious birth defect in which a baby is born with a head much smaller than normal. Microcephaly may occur as an isolated incident, however, there is also the chance for other more debilitating birth defects to occur alongside it.
As zika continues to spread it’s crucial to learn how to protect yourself against the virus. Using the correct type of insect repellent whenever outside, using clothing to cover skin from mosquitoes, and traveling safely (avoiding areas where a zika is more prominent, especially if pregnant) are all ways you can distance yourself from Zika.