As the summer of Zika descends, pregnant women say they feel like they have a target on their back - and experts confirm that they may not be wrong.
According to a 2000 study, pregnant women are twice as likely to be bitten by certain types of mosquitoes. There are two reasons for this, researchers found: One is that pregnant women exhale more air than non-pregnant women, and mosquitoes may be attracted to the carbon dioxide in their breath. Pregnant women's abdomens are also roughly 0.7 degrees Celsius hotter than normal, so their skin releases more volatile compounds, such as mosquito-attracting lactic acid.
The Zika virus, which can cause microcephaly and other birth defects, has not been found in New York mosquitoes yet, but the pesky bugs can carry other diseases that are dangerous for soon-to-be-moms, like West Nile virus. Pregnant women should load up on bug spray to avoid getting bit, OB /GYN Dr. Ashley Roman told The Post last month. Look for formulas containing DEET, picaridin, and lemon eucalyptus oil for the best protection. Staying in air-conditioned areas, avoiding standing water, and wearing long clothing can also protect against bites.
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