The Zika virus is currently rampaging through the Americas, particularly in Brazil, and can cause children to be born with microcephaly – an abnormally small head and brain. Health officials in Jamaica, Colombia, Ecuador and El Salvador are now recommending anyone who wants to start a family, to delay their plans until 2018.
The Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also known to carry the dengue, yellow fever and Chikungunya viruses. Health experts are unsure why the virus, which was first detected in Africa in 1947 but unknown in the Americas until last year, is spreading so rapidly in Brazil and El Salvador.
The Salvadorean government decided to make the announcement because 5,397 cases of the Zika virus had been detected in El Salvador in 2015 and the first few days of 2016. In Colombia, the government is also advising women to delay becoming pregnant, but only for 6 to 8 months…..6 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 51 seconds…..