New York’s Zika Fight Turns to Travel Precautions and Safe Sex | NY Times

By EMMA G. FITZSIMMONS

Zika - Washington Heights - Harlem - NY Times

Dr. Juan Tapia-Mendoza educates his patients, many of whom have Dominican roots, about the virus. (Photo: Joshua Bright | NY Times)

At a clinic in Harlem where many of the patients have roots in the Dominican Republic, Dr. Juan Tapia-Mendoza talks to patients about the Zika virus daily. He asks if they are planning to visit the island this summer. He reminds them that the virus can be transmitted through sex.

In New York City, there have been 109 reported cases of Zika, including 17 women who were pregnant when they learned they had the virus, according to city health officials. They all contracted the virus while visiting other countries.

Now, as the annual wave of summer travel between New York and the Caribbean begins, Dr. Tapia-Mendoza is worried that the number of cases in the community will rise.

“Our concern is this is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said of the city’s growing number of cases. While the symptoms of Zika, including fever, rash and joint pain, are relatively mild, the disease is of particular concern for pregnant women because of a link to microcephaly, a condition in which infants are born with unusually small heads and, most often, brain damage.

Read more: New York’s Zika Fight Turns to Travel Precautions and Safe Sex | NY Times

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