A pregnant teen infected with Zika virus expressed her desire to keep the baby despite the risks of it being born with a multitude of birth defects associated with the disease.
Seventeen-year-old Sara Mujica from Connecticut learned that she was pregnant four days after the first signs and symptoms of the virus manifested.
"I was getting rashes all over my body: my legs, my arms, my face everywhere, and I also had a fever and headaches," she says.
Sara began looking up information about Zika. She also thought about the possibility that her symptoms were due to chicken pox.
However, the teen thinks she got infected when she visited her 19-year-old fiancé Victor Cruz in his current residence in Choloma, Honduras.
When she returned to the United States, she got herself tested, but the results were only released after more than a month. During that time, she was already back in Honduras for a second trip to be with Cruz.
When the results were released on May 2, Sara's mother called her to inform the news. She was emotional as she informed her daughter, who in turn, was shocked.
"I'm not happy that my baby is going to be born with Zika but God has given me a miracle," says Sara.
When Sara was 15 years old, she had meningitis and doctors told her she would not be able to conceive anymore, so when she found that she was pregnant, the baby was a huge miracle for her.
In a GoFundMe page she and her fiancé set up, she explained how her religious belief also shaped her decision to keep the child.
"I have decided to keep my baby because it's what God has given to me & I do NOT believe in abortion so I would never do that," she writes on her GoFundMe page.
Dangers Of Zika Virus To Pregnant Women
If there is one condition that has strongly been linked with Zika, that is microcephaly, or the congenital abnormal smallness of a baby's head associated with incomplete brain development.
Ever since May 2015, Brazil has reported a notable outbreak of Zika infection and recently, authorities have documented a rise in cases of babies born with microcephaly.
Scientists all over the world started to research on the link between microcephaly and Zika virus during pregnancy. Earlier, there were little to almost no association detected. However, in a recent paper, CDC experts confirmed there is now sufficient proof to conclude that Zika virus during pregnancy is the cause of microcephaly and other birth defects such as eye anomalies, deafness and defective growth.
At present, researchers are looking at the complete list of other possible health impairments that Zika infection during pregnancy may result in.
Fate Of Future Pregnancies
Women who contracted Zika virus before getting pregnant were found to have no risks of having a child born with the birth defects, that is, of course, if the virus has been cleared out of the blood.
Based on available evidence about similar conditions, an individual who becomes infected with Zika is highly likely to have protection against future Zika infections.