Jamaica advises women to delay pregnancy due to Zika virus
Solange Ferreira bathes Jose Wesley in a bucket at their house in Poco Fundo, Pernambuco state, Brazil on Dec. 23, 2015 photo. Ferreira says Jose Wesley enjoys being in the water, she places him in the bucket several times a day to calm him. (AP /Felipe Dana)
The Associated Press
Published Monday, January 18, 2016 1:15PM EST
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Jamaica's health minister is advising women to delay plans to become pregnant for the next six to 12 months due to the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
The island has not even recorded any cases of Zika, which is spreading in the Americas and is suspected of causing over 3,500 babies to be born with brain damage in Brazil.
But Health Minister Horace Dalley says it's just a matter of time before the dengue-like virus makes it to the island. It is already confirmed in nearby Haiti.
Dalley said Monday in a statement that pregnant women should take extra precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
Growing evidence links Zika to microcephaly, a rare condition in which newborns have smaller than normal heads and their brains do not develop properly.