Local January 21, 2016 | 11:23 am

Health authorities ask women to delay getting pregnant over Zika threat

Santo Domingo.- Health Minister Altagracia Guzman on Wednesday asked women in the Dominican Republic to postpone getting pregnant this year due to the potential impact of the Zika virus on newborns.

The advice was given during a meeting of the National Commission for the Control of Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika, where the minister talked about the clearer relationship between the virus and the incidence of babies being born with abnormally small skulls, a condition known as microcephaly, Diario Libre reported.

Guzman also announced that 27 samples from different patients had been sent to the United States for testing to determine if they are cases of the Zika virus. The minister asked pregnant women to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using insect repellants that do not cause undesirable effects on a fetus.

Babies who develop microcephaly in the womb may not live to full term, may be born prematurely, may be stillborn, or may survive but with lifelong disability.

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