According to a health advisory released by The Ministry of Health Jamaican women should remain cautious against getting pregnant within the next six to 12 months as the Zika virus (ZIKV) edges closer to Jamaica.

For women that are already pregnant, the ministry advises them to take extra precaution, particularly avoiding mosquito bites.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Zika Virus is associated with microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected.

by-with-mAccording to health official’s babies with the condition may be born prematurely however they may survive having smaller brains and have lifelong developmental problems.The CDC has also issued a travel advisory encouraging mothers to avoid Caribbean and Latin American countries affected by the virus.

Countries and territories covered by the travel alert  included Colombia, French Guiana, El Salvador, Haiti, Guatemala, Martinique, Honduras, Panama, Suriname, Paraguay, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil and Puerto Rico.