Zika fears after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry reveal plans to visit virus-hit Tonga and Fiji for first overseas tour

The newlyweds are planning to visit Tonga and Fiji this Autumn, with both countries experiencing an outbreak of Zika and dengue fever.

And the concerns on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are particularly pressing should the couple wish to have kids in the near future.

Zika can be passed on from mothers to babies in the womb – which can lead to babies being born with severe birth defects.

Women hoping to fall pregnant are advised to avoid conceiving for up to six months after returning from Zika-affected areas – possibly putting the couple's baby plans on hold.

Ladbrokes have 4/6 odds that Prince Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, will announce they are expecting a baby before the end of this year.

According to the National Travel Health Network and Centre website, Fiji is considered to have a moderate risk of Zika virus transmission, with pregnant women urged to consider postponing non-essential travel.

Tonga is also warned as having a moderate risk.

Travellers are warned to avoid mosquito bites – particularly between dusk and dawn – with no vaccination or medication currently available to prevent Zika.

It is understood members of the Royal Family are always aware of travel advice.

ARE YOU AT RISK? What is the Zika virus and how can it be caught? Symptoms, treatment and travel advice on the tropical bug

THE Zika virus sparked a public health emergency with doctors warning it could, at least, cause fevers and vomiting – but at worse brain damage or even death in babies.

Zika is mostly spread by the bites of infected Aedes species mosquitoes, which bite during the day and night.

However, Zika can also be transmitted sexually with the virus able to stay in an infected male’s semen for months.

Most worryingly, it can be passed on from mothers to babies in the womb – which leads to babies being born with severe birth defects.

One of the best ways to prevent catching Zika is to prevent being bitten by a mosquito.

Wearing insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers and avoiding stagnant water can all help limit your risk of being bitten.

Symptoms include:

  • rash
  • itching all over the body
  • fever
  • headache
  • joint pain (with possible swelling)
  • musle pain
  • conjunctivitis
  • lower back pain
  • pain behind the eyes

A source told The Mirror: "The Duke and Duchess will have taken advice at the highest level before deciding that they were happy to go ahead and plan the trip."

The official royal tour will be a rite of passage for royal newcomer Meghan as she settles into married life with Harry.

The trip will also include the couple's first trip to Australia and New Zealand.

The tour will coincide with the Invictus Games, created by Harry, when it is to be held in Sydney later this year.

But a source suggested that Meghan might skip the trip if she falls pregnant before October.

Ladbrokes spokesperson Jessica Bridge said to The Sun Online: "It’s clear to see how much family means to Harry and Meghan and, should they be lucky enough to have children, the odds suggest they will be wasting no time in becoming a family of three.”

Paddy Power have cut the odds of Harry and Meghan’s first child being born this year from 20/1 to 4/1.

Harry and Meghan will be following in the footsteps of his parents, the Prince of Wales and Diana, whose first royal tour as a married couple was also to Australia and New Zealand.

During that trip, Charles and Diana travelled 23,601 miles and spent 41 days overseas.

Meghan made her Buckingham Palace balcony debut on Saturday for the Trooping of the Colour.

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