El Salvador: Women told to delay pregnancy for two years due to Zika virus
Jan 22, San Salvador: Public health officials in El Salvador have advised women to delay pregnancy for the next two years to prevent children from developing birth defects from the mosquito-borne Zika virus, media reports said .
The move came after 5,397 cases of the Zika virus were detected in El Salvador in 2015 and the first few days of this year.
Vice-minister of public health Eduardo Espinoza has said on Thursday that women who were already pregnant should stay covered outdoors to reduce the risk of mosquito bites.
He said that, "We'd like to suggest to all the women of fertile age that they take steps to plan their pregnancies, and avoid getting pregnant between this year and next."
Official figures show 96 pregnant women were suspected of having contracted the virus, but so far none has had babies born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, which the disease can cause.
In Colombia, which has the second-highest Zika infection rate after Brazil, the government is also advising women to delay becoming pregnant, but only for six to eight months.
President Dilma Rousseff said on Thursday that Brazilian researchers were working with domestic and foreign laboratories to try to develop a vaccine for the Zika and dengue viruses, Al Jazeera.
The Oslo Times