Local April 15, 2016 | 7:54 am

Zika cases reach 19 as couples are urged to postpone pregnancy

Santo Domingo.- After the association of Zika virus andmicrocephaly in the first trimester of pregnancy was confirmed, the PublicHealth minister Altagracia Guzman on Thursday urged couples to postponepregnancy this year.

She said each woman in gestation entering the system and suspectedof having the disease are being kept under observation.

Thus far 87 possibly affected pregnancies have beenreported of which 53 show symptoms of the disease in the first 24 weeks ofgestation, with 19 confirmed cases.

Guzman said monitoring and investigations will continue tobe carried out and further recommendations on the topic will be provided at yearend2016.

"We’ve always expressed that our great apprehensionwith Zika are the pregnancies, since the disease as such is benign, and in fivecases, only one has symptoms," said Guzman.

In that regard, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) representativeAlma Morales said the issue of postponing pregnancy or not is still areproductive right, which the woman must decide with her partner and individualdoctor.

She said the entity continues to strengthen the efforts to eradicatemosquito breeding sites, because the disease will be continue to affect people aslong as they exist.

For Morales, the authorities respond well with prevention,whereas Guzman said the awareness campaigns will continue.

Guillain Barre Syndrome

Related complications between Zika and the Guillain Barré syndromeare on the rise, with 22 people reportedly affected, and three deaths reportedduring hospitalization.

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