baby

The big question lingering about Harry and Meghan's trip now her pregnancy has been announced.

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After rumours circulated for weeks that the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, was pregnant, Kensington Palace yesterday released an official statement confirming the news.

The 37-year-old is expecting a baby in Spring 2019, the Palace announced, adding that “Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May”.

Given the couple’s current royal tour, however, one major question lingers: will the Duchess still travel to the Zika-affected areas listed on her itinerary?

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Both Fiji and Tonga are known to have a “moderate” Zika risk.

Official advice advises: “Pregnant women should consider postponing non-essential travel until after the pregnancy.”

According to The Mirror, a royal source said the couple “sought out top medical advice” when they planned the trip.

“The Duke and Duchess sought medical advice and were made aware of any risks, and how to minimise those, when travelling to countries affected by the virus,” the source said.

“After taking counsel they decided together they were both happy to go ahead with the tour as they had originally planned.”

Meghan’s schedule ensures she will avoid rural areas and rainforests during the tour. For example, while in Fiji, Meghan will go for tea with the British High Commissioner while Harry treks in the rainforest.

Speaking to Mamamia, Professor Scott Ritchie from the College of Public Health at James Cook University said he suspects the “risk is very remote” for Meghan Markle.

“The Zika outbreak was in 2015-16,” he said, “and I suspect little if any Zika remains.”

He stressed, however, that it would be important for the expectant mother to “avoid mosquito bites”.

Professor Ritchie said the royal couple should also be aware of other health risks in the areas they plan to visit, such as dengue fever.

The Duchess has had her 12-week scan and is in “good health” for her 16-day royal tour.

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