There’s a lot to consider when planning a trip during pregnancy. Perhaps one of the most important things to consider is what regions you should avoid due to diseases that could threaten you or your unborn child. There are several diseases that can be particularly harmful to women while they’re pregnant.
The Zika virus is primarily spread through bites by infected mosquitoes, but it can also be transmitted through unprotected sex with someone infected with Zika. If a pregnant woman is infected with Zika, it is possible she could pass it to her unborn child. This can cause microcephaly and other birth defects affecting the size and development of the baby’s head and brain.
Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine to prevent infection or medicine to treat the virus. The best way to prevent an infection while pregnant is to avoid traveling to areas affected by the virus. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keeps an updated list of all the areas affected by the Zika Virus.
For more information you can visit the CDC’s website about the Zika Virus and pregnancy.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted through mosquito bites and can be life-threatening if not treated. Pregnant women are at an increased risk of complications due to a reduced immune response and a decreased ability to fight the infection. In pregnant women, Malaria can lead to a reduced birth weight and could be life-threatening to the child.
There are a variety of ways to prevent Malaria infections and it can be treated. The best way to prevent a Malaria infection is to avoid traveling to areas where it is present. You should talk to your doctor about medications and other prevention methods to avoid an infection.
To find out more, you can look on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Malaria Threat Maps and the CDC’s Malaria maps.
Hepatitis A and E
Both Hepatitis A and E can cause complications during pregnancy. Both diseases are spread through consuming contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A infections are not common during pregnancy but can put you at an increased risk of premature delivery. Infection can be prevented with appropriate food handling, water sanitation and vaccination. Monitoring what you eat while traveling and preparing your own meals can help you avoid consuming contaminated food. Hepatitis E infections are also not common, but infections can be life-threatening to mother and child.
If you are concerned about a Hepatitis infection during pregnancy, talk to your doctor about methods for prevention and treatment to protect both you and your baby.
Always talk to your doctor about your travel plans
Traveling while pregnant can be a great experience, but it’s important to make sure it’s safe for you and your unborn child. Talking to your doctor before booking your trip will make sure you are fully informed about the risks and the areas you should avoid.