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Governor Cuomo: extend Zika testing to pregnant women who have visited affected areas

This petition made change with 106 supporters!


Right now, there is no test available for pregnant women who may have contracted the Zika virus while visiting affected countries, but Governor Cuomo has the power to change this.

Last Monday, the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus a global health emergency.

The mosquito-borne virus is known for causing brain-damage in babies whose mothers are infected during pregnancy. Since last year, thousands of babies in Brazil have been born with microcephaly, a neurological disorder that results in an abnormally small head, causing severe developmental issues and sometimes death.

While the impact of the virus on unborn babies can be very harmful, symptoms of the infection in adults often go undetected. About 80% of adults infected with Zika present no symptoms at all, making it difficult to identify whether or not they have the virus.

Earlier this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Department of Health will offer free Zika testing to individuals who have recently traveled to areas impacted by the virus, but only if they present symptoms.

This goes against the CDC’s recommendation that all pregnant women who have traveled to Zika-impacted areas should be screened for the disease, in order to protect their children.

Please call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to extend the test to all women who have traveled to infected regions during pregnancy, regardless of whether they have presented symptoms.

Links:

The Guardian - World Health Organisation declares Zika virus public health emergency

PBS - How does Zika virus shrink a baby’s brain and other FAQs

New York State - Governor Cuomo Announces Free Advanced Testing for Symptomatic Individuals Who Have Traveled to Countries Impacted By Zika Virus

CNN - CDC urges Zika screening for pregnant women who went to affected areas

The New York Times - Zika Testing Is Urged for Some Newborns



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