Florida: I’m an OB-GYN treating women with Zika: This is what it’s like

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2016, file photo, a female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulo's University in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

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Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 01:58 AM PST

Salon.com

There is no percentage for how many pregnant women who are infected with Zika will have babies with brain problem

Christine Curry, The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

As a medical student, I remember reading books about the early days of the HIV epidemic and wondering what it was like for doctors to take care of patients who had a new, unknown disease. It seemed to me like it would be frightening for both patients and doctors alike. I didn’t expect that early in my career as an OB-GYN, I would be caught in the middle of another new disease outbreak — Zika.

Most people who catch this virus feel fine. Some will end up with a fever, rash, aches and red eyes (conjuntivitis), or rarely, a serious nerve disorder called Guillain-Barre. But in pregnancy there can be very serious consequences to the baby. As of July 28, the World Health Organization reports that nearly 2,000 babies are affected with microcephaly or central nervous system malformations associated with Zika worldwide.

I teach and practice obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami Hospital and Jackson Memorial Hospital, and I treat pregnant women who have been infected with Zika — so far over a dozen women. We began preparing to care for infected women in January. Now, it is part of the daily care we provide. And with first known cases of local mosquito-borne transmission in the continental United States reported in Wynwood, a neighborhood in Miami, the risk has become even more real.

How am I, and other doctors who care for pregnant women, dealing with this new disease?

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Source: Salon.com