Royals not changing Pacific travel plans despite zika risk

Brunilde Fioravanti
Ottobre 18, 2018

It was hardly ideal timing for the announcement but the tour has been in the offing for months and so it was probably unavoidable that the news would come out around now.

Pregnant women are now being advised not to visit Tonga or Fiji because there is still a risk of catching Zika virus, which can affect the development of babies in the womb.

The disease can be most risky to expectant mothers and can result in potentially serious birth defects.

The World Health Organization has said that Zika causes an "increased risk of neurologic complications is associated with Zika virus infection in adults and children, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuropathy and myelitis".

Zika is mostly spread by mosquito bites and can be passed from the pregnant woman to her foetus.

Talk to a doctor or other healthcare provider after travel to an area with risk of Zika.

"In Obstetrics, my advice is always to err on the side of caution", Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief health and medical correspondent, said in a statement to "Good Morning America".

"You can check if your destination has a risk of ZIKV infection by looking on the "Notice Board" of the specific country page". Travellers have also been warned to sleep under mosquito nets to avoid being infected.

Will Meghan encounter the Zika virus?

Markle is reportedly pressing on with the trip after taking medical advice and deciding she it was safe to proceed with the trip. Over the next 16 days the couple are expected to tour Australia and New Zealand as well as two island nations, Fiji and Tonga, where the Zika virus - which can cause serious birth defects - has been detected.

Mosquitos are known to develop in their numbers during the rainy season which for Fiji is from November to April, and for Tonga is November and May.

A senior Palace source revealed Meghan and Harry have spoken to leading doctors and made a decision to go ahead with the tour as planned.

She will also be well protected during her time overseas, so any dangers to the royal baby are highly unlikely.

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