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What is the Zika Virus?

Over the past several months, there have been many reports about the Zika virus. This mosquito-spread condition usually leads to flu-like symptoms. In many cases, people who have been bitten by an affected mosquito recover fully. However, in Brazil and in other countries the virus has been linked with microcephaly.

Microcephaly is a congenital condition. Infants with microcephaly have slower brain development and smaller-than-normal brains. They may have a reduced life expectancy and may struggle to live independently – depending on the severity of their condition.

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In 2015 and 2016, cases of microcephaly increased in some regions and researchers have linked the increase in cases to the Zika virus. Doctors believe pregnant women who have the Zika virus during their pregnancy may be at an increased risk of giving birth to infants with microcephaly.

What can you do to reduce the risk of contracting the Zika virus?

Consult the CDC site for the latest information about the virus and preventative measures. In addition, you protect yourself by:

  • Avoiding travel to Zika-affected countries
  • Avoiding mosquito bites (by using insect repellants and avoiding mosquito-dense areas)
  • Talking to your doctor about preventative measures if you are pregnant or considering pregnancy

Does getting the Zika virus mean you have a legal claim in South Florida?

Currently, Florida leads the nation when it comes to Zika virus cases, with 62 people contracting the virus. Miami-Dade county has reported 30 cases while Broward County has the second-largest number of cases, with about 8 cases reported. About four cases involve pregnant women.

While mosquitoes are the most common cause of the Zika virus, there may be cases where people who have contracted the virus may want to speak to a doctor. For example, if a woman gives birth to a child with microcephaly and believes she may have been exposed to the Zika virus, she may have concerns about whether she was misdiagnosed or properly informed about her risks. If anyone was negligent in the case, a family affected by microcephaly linked to the Zika virus may have a claim.

In cases of microcephaly, it’s also important to inquire how the condition developed. Was the mother affected by the Zika virus or by something else? Cases of microcephaly can also be caused by exposure to certain drugs or toxins. If someone negligently gave an expectant mother incorrect medical advice or otherwise behaved recklessly, it may be important to seek medical advice.

Raising a child with microcephaly means providing for them if they cannot care for themselves. It can also mean considerable medical treatment and support. To give your family the best chances for thriving, it’s important to protect your finances so you can afford the best care possible. If your child has been born with microcephaly or any congenital condition or birth injury in Miami or anywhere in South Florida, contact an attorney to find out what options you may be able to explore.

If you’d like to speak to a personal injury attorney in Miami, Hollywood, or anywhere in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group. Our caring legal team works with medical consultants and other professionals to build client cases. We understand what it takes to build a case and we always treat our clients with the courtesy and respect they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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