Pregnant Meghan Markle apparently spoke to doctors about zika fears ahead of royal trip to Fiji
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are sticking to their schedule and are going to be taking their trip to Fiji, where recently, the Zika virus has been detected. Meghan, who is pregnant with the royal couple's first baby, had reportedly sought medical advice about the virus, which has been known to cause serious birth defects, including microcephaly.
Zika virus is a disease spread by mosquitoes, and it can be more serious for pregnant women. Reports suggest that there is no vaccine for the virus, which can cause severe birth defects in unborn children.
Professor James G Logan, Head of the Department of Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told People magazine, "I’m sure that they will have sought travel health advice in terms of protective methods in terms of mosquito bites. There is a lot you can do to minimize risks.”
“The advice would be to wear a repellent which contains an active ingredient and wear that repellent all day and all evening. You have to put the repellent on like a hand cream. You have to really rub it in. If you squirt it on like a perfume, that won’t do anything because the mosquito will find a bit that’s not covered. A spray or a lotion is fine but really rub it in and reapply it often. There are four active ingredients, one of the main ones is DEET and it’s safe to use that during pregnancy.”
“Wearing long sleeves and baggy clothes will help,” he added. “Mosquitos can even bite through jeans so if the clothing is loose it’s much harder for the mosquito to bite. Wearing light-colored clothing can help as these mosquitos are often attracted to dark clothing. It also helps you spot them, if you see a dark mosquito on a light piece of clothing. Generally, the risk is low but, there is still a risk and you need to weigh up how to protect yourself and make sure you are fully informed.”
The royal couple, who reached Sydney on Monday morning, will head to the popular tourist spot of Dubbo, in New South Wales after their first day in Sydney. During their tour, the duo will also travel to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, that sits just off Australia’s Queensland coast.
Zika virus spreads when the Aedes aegypti mosquito bites an individual with an active infection and then spreads the virus to others. Those bitten become carriers. As per reports, the virus can also be transmitted to fetuses through a pregnant woman’s amniotic fluid.
Among the birth defects caused by the virus, microcephaly is the most likely disease that the child can catch due to the effects of the zika virus. Microcephaly is essentially a neurological disorder that leads to babies being born with much-smaller-than-normal heads. This can lead to problems with development and in some cases, even death.