WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- White Plains Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor. Send signed, original letters up to 350 words to WhitePlains@dailyvoice.com. Reina Schiffrin, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, recently offered these four things to know about the Zika virus.
To the editor:
You've probably seen a lot of headlines about the Zika virus, but you may have some questions about if and how Zika will affect you. Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic is here to help answer your questions and share the latest information.
While it's been spreading rapidly by mosquitoes in countries across Latin America, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, people who live in the continental United States are also contracting Zika, mostly due to travel. There have been nearly 1,000 travel and sexually-transmitted cases confirmed in the continental U.S., including at least 310 right here in New York.
There is no treatment or vaccine for Zika at this time, and experts anticipate the areas where there is active Zika will grow in the U.S. in the coming months, as mosquito season ramps up.
If you've traveled to an area with active transmission of Zika, or had sex without a condom with a man who traveled to or lived in an area with active Zika, you should ask a health care provider about getting tested. PPHP providers in White Plains, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Yonkers and Spring Valley are available to help you decide if you should be tested.
There is a lot the medical community still needs to determine about the Zika virus, but we do know it poses serious risks for pregnant women. When a fetus is exposed to the virus during pregnancy, Zika can cause microcephaly and other severe brain problems. It is also associated with impaired fetal growth, hearing loss in infants and other complications for pregnant women, including miscarriage.
Family planning is the primary strategy recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce Zika-related pregnancy complications. Birth control methods are not one-size-fits-all; different methods have different rates of effectiveness, risks, side effects and cost.
No matter your reasons, if you want to know more about your family planning options, our expert providers at PPHP can help you decide what is best for you. For more information about Zika, you can visit www.cdc.gov, and for more information about PPHP, visit www.pphp.org