With the threat of Zika virus looming as the summer months approach, many are concerned that the pandemic will carry over into the US and we will see an increase in incidence of the virus and all of the dangers it poses, particularly to pregnant women and their babies.
Zika has been making headlines recently as a public health crisis in Central and South America because it has been linked to a birth defect called microcephaly in babies and miscarriage in pregnant women.
Many experts are predicting a potential outbreak in various areas of the United States because of the indigenous population of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes—the species responsible for spreading the virus—in many areas, as well as the weather conditions that allow the mosquitoes to flourish.
The closer to summer we get and the higher the mosquito population, the more likely potential outbreaks are going to occur. That is why it is critical for pregnant women in particular to have access to insect repellent.
Further, Zika threatens to possibly impact the poor the hardest—with lower income neighborhoods lacking proper mosquito control and many without air conditioners who keep windows and doors open during the hottest months.
Pregnant women with limited resources are going to be the most vulnerable this summer. We urge the SC Johnson to make the commitment to helping protect those at highest risk by providing free OFF repellent to clinics for women who are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.
Let’s protect those most vulnerable to this terrible virus!