Pregnant women should avoid Suriname, health authority warns

The Dutch national health authority RIVM is warning pregnant women not to travel to areas known to be infected with the Zika Virus, including Suriname. "We advise pregnant women to think twice about a such a trip", Jaap van Dissel of the RIVM said on Nieuwsuur on Saturday, ANP reports.

"Consider whether it is wise and be informed", Van Dissel said. "With regards to the regions where the Zika Virus reigns, we say: if it is not a necessary trip, postpone it. Go to another destination."

The Zika Virus is not dangerous to adults, but can result in brain abnormalities in unborn children which can cause mental disabilities. Ten Dutch people are already infected with the virus, all of them contracting it in Suriname. None of them are pregnant women.

The ten infected Dutch can not spread the virus to other people in the Netherlands. The Zika virus is not directly transmittable from human to human, it is spread by mosquitoes that are not in the Netherlands.