MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A pregnant woman in Miami who contracted the Zika virus is being watched very closely.
Yessica Flores learned she was seven weeks pregnant with her second child in June. The family had already planned a trip home to Honduras when she learned of the news, and with her doctor’s advice, she took the necessary precautions to protect herself and her unborn baby but in late August, after returning home, she took a Zika test.
“What was surprising to her and to us is that she came back with a positive test for Zika,” said Flores.
There have been cases of Zika in Honduras where she traveled to, but Flores also worked in the designated Zika zone of Wynwood.
She’s sharing her story so other families experiencing the same thing will have hope.
“I have seen many cases of Zika where the majority of the mothers choose not to have the baby so the baby won’t suffer and I want them to know to have faith in God and the doctors,” said Flores.
The Zika virus is primarily spread through sexual contact and through the bites of infected mosquitoes. It is particularly dangerous for pregnant women because it can cause microcephaly – a birth defect where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected and the brain is often underdeveloped. The smaller the head and the earlier the brain is impacted during fetal development, the more serious the condition is.
“The message for all women who are pregnant in Miami-Dade, is that they should be tested for the Zika virus infection in the first and second trimesters at a minimum,” said Dr. Chris Curry with Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital have been giving Flores regular screenings and ultrasounds every 3 to 4 weeks. So far, she and her baby are doing well, and the tests appear to be normal.
Flores’ baby is due in mid-February. Her doctors say they’ll continue to monitor her very closely.
Doctors also want to remind people that the Zika virus is not just an issue for pregnant women. The virus can live in an adult male for up to six months, making controlling the spread very difficult.