WNV/breastfeeding riskEDITOR'S NOTE: The Randall County woman mentioned in this story wished
to remain anonymous
By PATRICIA GARDNER
Canyon News staff
While the threat of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus is easing, there still are questions concerning the level of risk for some people, including new moms.
WNV remains a major health issue in the United States and is certainly prevalent in Randall County, said Dr. J. Rush Pierce, health authority for Potter and Randall counties.
He said great emphasis has been put on the elderly, who are at high risk if they contract the disease, but little has been documented about the effects on the young or pregnant. A young mother in Randall County who is 26 weeks pregnant also has a 1½-year-old child and has been positively diagnosed with WNV by the Centers for Disease Control. Ann has a mild case of WNV. She is concerned about the possibility of her unborn child contracting the disease or having side effects from her infection. Also at question is whether her toddler was infected at the same time and could be affected. Pierce said there is little documented information about nursing or pregnant mothers or young children and their involvement with WNV. "As a matter of fact, only four cases have been documented concerning transmission to infants, and three were connected to breast milk," he said." [Note: I can only find referenes to a single case of possible WNV transmission via breastmilk - JC]