Over 100 Zika cases in Quebec

Over 100 Zika cases in Quebec

About 20 women have undergone preventive abortions to prevent malformations in children

The Santé publique reminds Quebecers planning their vacations in the South to always consider the Zika virus, which will continue to cause casualties this year.

“You should be careful. It is not because we do not talk about it in the newspapers that the problem is solved. The cases have continued, “said Dr. Jean-François Desrosiers, President of the Quebec Advisory Committee on Travelers’ Health, at the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ).

Over 100 cases

In total, 102 Quebeckers have been infected since January 1 2016, according to the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS). Thirteen infected women were pregnant, and a baby was born with the virus. His state of health remains unknown.

Except for the child, all cases were contracted outside Quebec, in countries where the virus is present (Central and South America).

“It should stabilize, but it’s quite recent,” says Dr. Desrosiers. There will probably still be many cases in the next few years. ”

The Zika virus is transmitted by an infected mosquito found in hot countries. Since 2015, several outbreaks have been reported in South America.

Primarily, the virus threatening to fetuses, as it targets the nervous system and can cause brain malformations (small head).

Several abortions

At the Morgentaler clinic, 20 pregnant women who feared being infected had a preventive abortion during the holiday season.

“There was a wave. The majority of women have become pregnant on or after the trip, notes France Désilets, Executive Director. They did not want to take the risk. ”

According to the INSPQ, pregnant women, or those wishing to become pregnant, should avoid traveling in high-risk areas.

This recommendation also applies to their spouse, since the Zika virus can be transmitted sexually for six months. “It’s disturbing because it’s new and we do not know much,” says Dr. Desrosiers.

There is currently no vaccine or treatment available.

Infected mosquitoes?

On the other hand, although the Zika-carrying mosquitoes do not resist the cold of Quebec, researchers are investigating whether mosquitoes here could become infected.

“There’s a lot of research going on and it’s possible that our species of mosquitoes are able to transmit the virus,” cautiously says Christopher Cloutier, a mosquito researcher at McGill University.

The Public Health Agency of Canada describes the risk for travelers as “low but constant”.

CASES IN QUEBEC

102 cases since January 2016

89 cases in 2016

13 cases in 2017

72% of cases affect women

66% are between the ages of 20 and 44

13 women were pregnant

1 baby is born infected

CASES IN CANADA

486 cases since January 2016

2 babies were born with observed anomalies

SYMPTOMS OF THE VIRUS

Flat and red rash

Red eyes

Weakness

Headache

Lack of energy

Muscle or joint pain

Light Fever

Sources: Public Health Agency of Canada and MSSS

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