Everyone here in Singapore is worried about the Zika virus. Our strain seems to be different from the one causing problems in Brazil and Florida. Most of the island has reported cases and I believe to date 16 pregnant women have been infected from mosquito bites.
Is the danger of Microcephaly as great as reported? So far none of the pregnant women here have been in their first trimester of pregnancy. According to the World Health Organisation It seems as if somewhere between 1-13% of women who get infected in the first trimester run the risk of endangering their foetuses.
What about those mothers-to-be who get infected during their second and third trimesters? It seems that we can only diagnose the virus when one has symptoms, checking for antibodies is not possible yet? Frequent monitoring and ultrasound scans are done, but until the birth one won't know for sure if the baby has been infected.
PREVENTION is the main line of defence.
Cover up when outside and use mosquito repellent that has 20% or less DEET to make sure it will do the trick. Fog your houses and gardens monthly and make sure that windows and doors remain closed. If mosquitoes do get into your condo/house you can all sleep under mosquito netting. It is quite fun, rather like sleeping in a grand tent. Some of them are soaked in mosquito repellant some are not. But they do help.
I know people who's families are so anxious for them that they have left Singapore and fled to temperate climates for refuge. Of course that is one option.
Dengue and Zika are both dangerous but the locals here live with the danger by taking sensible precautions. If you are pregnant or trying to start a family, or thinking of doing so in the next 6 months then please cover up and don't spend hours walking around in the Botanic gardens or the jungle. For the time being anyway.
On a lighter note there are only 89 days to go until Christmas. Yeah!!