PAHO recommends Bolivian women delay pregnancy to avoid Zika

LA PAZ, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Women in regions of Bolivia affected by Zika virus should delay pregnancies to avoid microcephaly cases in newborns, recommended the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on Wednesday.

Fernando Leanes, PAHO representative in Bolivia, said at a press conference that it was one of several advised measures to avoid the proliferation of microcephaly cases.

"The epidemic of Zika, from what we have seen in other countries, will have a rise and fall in Bolivia. Therefore, there are options such as delaying the decision to get pregnant in areas where Zika is spreading. This will avoid the dreaded microcephaly and the complications it represents," explained Leanes.

He warned people against the "relatively low" probability that a pregnant woman contracting Zika will lead to microcephaly in her child. In order to avoid this, he urged authorities to provide contraceptives, adding that the virus can also be sexually transmitted.

Leanes also called for buildings to be cleaned to eliminate potential breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

According to a report released on Nov. 1, Bolivia registered the first three births of babies with microcephaly due to Zika in the province of Santa Cruz.

The province has seen 127 cases of Zika, including 57 pregnant women, of which 41 have given birth, with three fetuses confirmed with malformation.

[ Editor:yfs001]

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