The Zika Virus and Pregnancy: What Pregnant Women Need to Know
If you or someone you know is currently pregnant, you're understandably concerned about the recent warnings concerning the Zika virus that has been spreading in Latin America. Similar to the West Nile Virus, people who contract Zika (which is transmitted through mosquito bites) will typically have no symptoms and are unlikely to become seriously ill. If someone were to have Zika, it exhibits mild symptoms of arthralgias fever, arthralgias (aches), rash and conjunctivitis (reddening of eye). So why the special warnings for pregnant women?
When a mom-to-be becomes infected with Zika virus, the virus can also infect the fetus. Recently, officials have reported babies born to mothers who had Zika virus in Brazil of having microcephaly (small head). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends because of the associated risk of microcephaly, avoiding exposure to the virus is best. That's why pregnant women and women who are considering pregnancy should delay planned travel to areas where Zika virus outbreaks are ongoing .
The CDC also warns that more research is needed to better understand the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly. The exact outcomes that might be associated with infection during pregnancy and the factors that may increase risk to a fetus are not yet fully understood. In light of these reports, we're following current news as closely as possible and are sharing here what we know now about Zika, and what you can do to protect yourself and your baby.
One of the most important things we can tell expecting moms is that if you live in the continental U.S., your odds of contracting the Zika virus right now are extremely low.
The CDC has recently released some valuable information to help you know the facts so you can take the proper precautions:
In the interim, we will continue to monitor the situation and will share with you more information as we receive it. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask.