What is Zika Virus?

  • Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week.
  • In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.

I am pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Should I travel to a country where cases of Zika have been reported?

  • According to the CDC, pregnant women in any trimester should postpone travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who do travel to one of these areas should strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
  • Women trying to become pregnant or who are thinking about becoming pregnant are being advised to avoid travel to these areas.  If travel is unavoidable, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip. 

I am pregnant. How will Zika virus affect me or my unborn baby?

  • There have been reports in Brazil of microcephaly (small head size with abnormal brain development) and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. However, additional studies are needed to further characterize this relationship. More studies are planned to learn more about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

I think I have been exposed to Zika virus.

Our physicians advise you to schedule an appointment with your primary Obstetrician to discuss testing for Zika virus and the monitoring which will be necessary during pregnancy.


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