The Brazilian government announced it will direct funds to a biomedical research center to help develop a vaccine against the Zika virus linked to brain damage in babies.
The Brazilian government announced it will direct funds to a biomedical research center to help develop a vaccine against the Zika virus linked to brain damage in babies. AP Photo - Andre Penner

DFAT warning for pregnant women considering overseas travel

THE Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is urging pregnant women to consider postponing travel to a host of countries where there has been ongoing transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus

Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Columbia, Venezuela, Samoa, Panama, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Haiti and Guyana are all listed on the DFAT website.

An epidemic in Brazil of a congenital birth defect known as microcephaly, which affects the growth of the brain of the fetus, has been linked to the recent introduction and wide-spread transmission of the Zika virus.

Laura Rodrigues, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has urged women who think they may be pregnant in the weeks before travelling to the Olympics in Brazil later this year to consider abandoning their trip.


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