The Ministry of Health in Jamaica has advised women to delay becoming pregnant for the next six to 12 months and those already pregnant to take extra precaution to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes given the possible link between Zika virus infection and microcephaly.

Microcephaly is an abnormal growth of the brain and stunting of the growth of the head of the foetus arising from infection in the first months of pregnancy.

Babies who develop microcephaly in the womb may not live to full term, may be born prematurely, may be still born or may survive but with life-long disability.

Jamaica’s Minister of Health Horace Dalley says although there is no absolute proof, the evidence from Brazil and the information from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and other technical partners is strong enough for the Ministry to take this position in seeking to prevent any possible adverse outcome to pregnant women.

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