Zika virus 'spreading explosively' in Americas, says World Health Organization

According to World Health Organization officials, cases of the Zika virus have been reported in 20 countries.

So far there have been 31 confirmed cases in 11 states all from returning travelers that did not originate here. The concern is that it is spreading so fast across the world that 3 to 4 million people could be infected across the world by next year.

The mosquito-borne illness may cause birth defects. One metro Detroit couple expecting a baby just returned from Brazil, where there's been a sharp rise in Zika cases and concern.

The W.H.O. announced it will hold an emergency meeting to try to figure out how to stop the transmission of the Zika virus which is "spreading explosively across the Americas."

"I'm happy to be here, very happy," said Heloisa Kamei.

Kamei and her husband left Brazil and moved to Michigan a little over a month ago. At eight months pregnant, she believes just in time.

"It is a very bad moment," she said. "I have friends that want to get pregnant and you need to wait. The recomendation of the doctors is to wait one or two years."

While everyone is at risk for the virus, spread through mosquito bites, Dr. Jennifer Boukouris, an ER doctor at Southfield's Providence Hospital, says pregnant women are more at risk.

"(It is) most significant in pregnant women because their babies can be born with a deformity of the skull, so that is very concerning. If you are pregnant you should try to limit your travel to those areas."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  Zika virus outbreaks have occurred in areas of Africa, southeast Asia, South America and the Pacific Islands.  The first confirmed infactions were in Brazil.

"We were worried, we were traveling to see our relatives and my wife is also pregnant," said Alanis Cunah.

But Andressa and Alanis Cunah, who just returned from their home country of Brazil, made sure to protect themselves and their young daughter with plenty of repellant.

"We just stayed in with some precautions," Andressa said.

Boukouris says there have been no reported cases at Providence. Those who have been diagnosed across the country are returning travelers.

The virus which has symptoms ranging from fever and rash to joint pain and red eyes is something medical providers will be watching closely during this travel season and as the summer months approach.

"They don't have a curent treatment right now so we are waiting to see if they develop anything," Boukouris said.

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