PETALING JAYA: Expectant parents are taking extra precautions after Malaysia officially recorded its first case of Zika.
“The news is definitely scary because it doesn’t only affect your health but the well-being of your child in your womb,” said writer Nadia, 30, who is in her second trimester of pregnancy.
“For the time being, I only go out when I need to and I’m always on the lookout for Zika symptoms.
“I think I should be extra vigilant as I can’t expect people to always be alert. I’m also reading up on a lot of news on Zika, just to really educate myself on the do’s and don’ts,” she said.
Deputy manager Asrulnizam Addrus, 31, has also been reading up on Zika over the past few months as a safeguard for his family.
“I think parents should first understand Zika. Besides awareness, I think Malaysians need to be informed on how to deal with this virus,” he said, admitting that the news had him worried.
He, too, will be taking additional precautions for the safety of his baby, due in November.
Mother-to-be Mellissa Lee is concerned, but says that keeping a level head is important at times like these.
“Zika worries me because the scary thing is that it’s not just mosquito-to-human but it can also be spread human-to-human, so both mothers and their partners have to be very careful,” said Lee, who is in her third trimester.
“I think the important thing is not to panic unnecessarily – the same precautions that we’ve exercised throughout the whole pregnancy still apply. Stay away from mosquito-infested areas, use natural and pregnancy-safe repellents, listen to your doctor’s advice, and it never hurts to be too careful,” said the 28-year-old manager.
For 30-year-old illustrator Maghfirah Rifaad, prevention starts immediately.
“This is very alarming. I have already asked my husband to install electric mosquito repellents. Maybe I won’t go to public places as much now, especially risky areas. When I get home later, I will keep a look out for any containers with stagnant water,” said Maghfirah, who is due in November.
The Zika case has also led to some couples postponing their plans to have children for the immediate future.
“We were planning to have children initially but we are putting it off for now. It is scary when I heard about the Zika case, and I don’t know if we want to have a baby right now. We have to see what kind of precautions the Health Ministry is taking, and whether they can control this virus, because for dengue it was really out of control,” said 32-year-old communications executive Christina.
She said she would only start to consider having children again once the situation stabilises.
Things are quite the opposite for 30-year-old Sanjay and his wife, who will not let Zika stop them from starting a family.
“We are still trying to have children. Zika is scary but we cannot just stop our lives. However, we will still look out for symptoms and what not. But at the same time, we don’t want to postpone anything,” he said.
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