In light of the first travel-related Zika case in the Rio Grande Valley, local health experts are urging pregnant women to take all precautionary measures to prevent contracting the virus.
Zika is known to cross through the placenta and affect babies when they’re inside the uterus.
Health experts have linked the virus to birth defects like Microcephaly, condition where the baby’s head is significantly smaller than expected due to abnormal brain development. One local doctor says the condition can come with an array of different problems.
Liliana Padilla-Williams, OBGYN says, “It can be something as simple as just a little slow. It can severe mental retardation. It can come with motor defects or sensory defects. It really depends on where in the brain it really affected and at what point in the pregnancy the patient was infected.”
Health experts recommend all pregnant women to use DEET containing mosquito repellent during any outdoor activities, and to avoid traveling to any infested areas.