Arlington VA (AP) Women’s gynecomastia specialists in New Jersey say they’ve had more than 1,500 cases of the Zika virus in recent months, with many women complaining of “life-threatening complications” and doctors worried about how to treat them.
Dr. Mary O’Leary of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Elizabeth told The Associated Press that doctors have been treating patients for several months with a cocktail of antibiotics and anti-infectives before treating them with Zika, and there have been no reported cases of other sexually transmitted infections.
The doctor said that since the infection spread rapidly in the state last summer, she’s seen “several thousand” patients who have been treated for “life threatening complications” after having been infected with Zika.
“We’ve had to treat women who have contracted Zika after sexual intercourse, we’ve had women who contracted Zika while they were pregnant,” she said.
“There’s been more than 600 cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia in New York City, New Jersey and Rhode Island.”
O’Leary said doctors have also seen women who “cannot have an abortion due to the complications” that can result.
Doctors at the Beth Dinah Women’s Health Center in New Brunswick, New Brunswick say they are treating at least 5,000 women in New Hampshire who have Zika and gonorrheal infections.
Doctors have treated 5,500 patients since June, according to the New Brunswick health department.
O’Donnell says she’s been “surprised” by the number of women who report having Zika.
In addition to concerns about Zika, she said some women are “not getting the care they need,” and others are waiting to see if their doctors have a referral for a vaginal douche or the birth control pill.
Oral health specialists say women with Zika who are infected with gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause serious bleeding and infertility, should wait a year or two before trying to have an operation, and women with the Zika-related illness should wait until after they’re pregnant to get a Pap test.
Overnight, doctors at the Women’s Medical Center of the University of Rochester Medical Center said they were treating more than 800 Zika cases in the first week of July, more than half of them with chlamydial infections.
In a statement, the hospital said it is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to share the latest information on Zika and related infections with health care providers.
The New York Times reported Friday that a group of doctors, including Dr. Michael Bowers of the New York Medical College, has said that the CDC has been withholding information about the Zika outbreak, because it could cause “medical and public health disasters.”
The group has called for more information about Zika to be shared with the public.
The CDC said Friday that it had no additional details about the new cases, other than to say that most were in New England.