Broadgate GP

What is the Zika Virus? – Information and prevention advice from Broadgate Clinic London Wall

The Zika virus is a virus that is carried by mosquitoes. It is most prevalent in the Pacific region, but as you may be aware from recent news bulletins it is now spreading to Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

Abnormal brain development

In most people the Zika virus causes a mild infection which is not considered dangerous. However, in pregnant women it can cause birth defects and Microcephaly in particular, which is a condition which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads, as the result of the brain not developing properly in the womb, and not growing as it normally should, after birth.

The expected spread of the Zika virus

Experts are predicting that the Zika virus will spread to all countries in the Americas – this includes the Caribbean with the possible exceptions of Chile and Canada. It has been forecast that the virus will reach the Gulf States of America (including Florida and Texas) this summer. This is because the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus naturally, spread to these areas during the summer months.

Advice from the travel clinic at Broadgate Clinic London Wall

Currently there is no vaccination to prevent infection by the Zika virus, so bite mosquito bite prevention from a mosquito carrying the virus is key.

Pregnant women expecting to travel to an at-risk area can call in to the walk-in travel Clinic here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall for advice.