DR LAM PIN MIN: NOT ALL FOETUS INFECTED BY ZIKA WILL HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE

The first case of Zika virus infection in pregnancy has been confirmed this evening.

As recommended by the Clinical Advisory Group for Zika and Pregnancy, infected pregnant women will be followed up closely by their obstetricians for counselling and further antenatal management. A positive Zika PCR test in the mother does not give any definite information on whether the fetus is infected or not. In addition, not every infected fetus will show neurological abnormalities. The risk of fetal abnormality will depend on which stage of the pregnancy the mother is in, with the highest risk likely in the first trimester.

It is therefore imperative for the infected mother to be followed up regularly by the obstetrician, with serial ultrasound scans to monitor the growth and wellbeing of the fetus.

Vector control remains the mainstay in reducing the spread of Zika. The community should also play our part in keeping our homes and living premises clean to prevent mosquito breeding. Pregnant women must continue to take strict precautions against mosquito bites and seek medical attention early if you have symptoms suggestive of Zika infection.

Let us all unite together and do our part to fight against Zika!

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