Infectious disease expert warns against exposure to Zika virus

January 23, 2016

UC Irvine Health Chief of Infectious Diseases Donald Forthal, MD.

IN THE NEWS: UC Irvine Health infectious disease expert Dr. Donald Forthal advises pregnant women against traveling to regions experiencing an outbreak of Zika, a mosquito-borne illness believed to cause neurological damage in babies.

Forthal, chief of infectious diseases, commented in an Orange County Register article about federal health travel warnings to the Caribbean and Latin and South America, where reports of the disease are rising rapidly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said its investigation into a possible link between Zika and brain damage in babies is “evolving,” and until it knows more and “out of an abundance of caution,” it’s advising pregnant women to consider postponing travel to any country where the virus is circulating.

“It’s quite appropriate. If I were advising somebody who was going to Brazil or somewhere else where there’s an outbreak of Zika, and if they were pregnant, particularly in their early pregnancy, I would advise them to delay their trip,” said Forthal. “There’s no vaccine, no treatment. There’s really no way to prevent it at all.” 

Read the Orange County Register article >

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