Samantha Mejia was excited when she discovered she was pregnant during her family’s Honduras visit over the Christmas holiday. However, she suffered a miscarriage and wonders if the Zika virus is to blame.
Mejia said she didn’t know about the virus because it wasn’t as publicized as it is now. She came back to her home in Romeoville right after New Years and had a fever and a rash.
“We had no knowledge of it. It wasn't until we arrived that a lot of his friends and family were talking about that there was a Zika and a Chikungunya outbreak,” Mejia said.
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When she had tests performed, she said she tested positive for Zika had a miscarriage not long after, though it is impossible to tell if Zika was directly linked to the tragedy.
“Miscarriages, one thing that we really have learned is that it's so common,” Mejia said. “It could be just coincidental timing. We did find out from the CDC, they did do some fetal testing and they did show the virus.”
Her husband Omar’s sister in Honduras is five months pregnant now and has contracted Zika. The family is concerned about the baby’s safety.
The virus has been spreading across much of Latin America and the Caribbean and more cases are expected, health experts told NBC News. Evidence is increasingly showing the virus is responsible for severe birth defects that can cause miscarriages, stillbirths or a lifetime of disability for babies that survive.
Samantha, who currently shows no symptoms and has been well for weeks, has written her congressman, Bill Foster, as well as both Illinois senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin in support of Zika funds both here and abroad.
She also wants to tell pregnant mothers not to go to Honduras if possible, and take extreme caution if they have to travel there.
“If you can at all avoid it I would at this time just because you don't know,” Mejia said. “That one mosquito bite could impact it.”