The Jamaica government Monday urged woman to delay getting pregnant for at least the next six to 12 months given the possible link between the mosquito-borne Zika virus and birth defects.
The Ministry of Health said women who were already pregnant should take extra precaution to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes as Zika could cause microcephaly, a rare neurological condition in which an infant’s head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children of the same age and sex.
The statement by the Ministry of Health followed complaints here as to the delay by the authorities in warning women against pregnancy as has been done in other countries like Brazil where the virus had been detected.
Health Minister, Horace Dalley said there is still no absolute proof of the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly.
He said based on evidence from Brazil, information from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and other technical partners, the Ministry of Health is seeking to prevent any possible adverse outcome to pregnant women.
Dalley said the health officials have heightened their alert and are scaling up vector control activities while reminding persons to take the necessary steps to rid their communities of the aedes aegypti mosquito which transmits the Zika virus.