Update on Zika Virus precautions, February, 2019
If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant in the next 3 months, it’s important to consider whether you or your partner have been exposed to the Zika virus.
Women who are infected with Zika during pregnancy, have a higher likelihood of having a baby with very serious birth defects, including microcephaly which causes only partial brain development and mental retardation.
The Zika virus can be transmitted from a mosquito bite and also from sex with someone who is infected. Some people who have the Zika virus don’t have symptoms, which is why it’s important to consider whether there has been any possible exposure to Zika.
The Centers for Disease Control, CDC, has many fact sheets on Zika.
Men wait 3 months
The Zika virus can live longer in a man’s semen, even if he has no symptoms. If a man travels to an area where there is a risk of Zika the couple should avoid getting pregnant for 3 months.
Women wait 2 months
If a woman travels to an area where there is a risk of Zika virus, the couple should avoid pregnancy for at least 2 months, even if she has no symptoms.
Couples wait 3 months
If both partners travel to areas with Zika, they should avoid pregnancy for 3 months
Where in the world is Zika?
You can find a map of the areas of the world where there is a high incidence of Zika from the CDC here.
If you live in an area with Zika or must travel to areas, then it’s important to take precautions against getting mosquito bites to prevent getting infected with many other illnesses.
Where’s there’s Zika, there’s also many other mosquito-borne infections including:
- Dengue Fever
Want to understand the difference between these, read my blog post here: (link to: Zika, Chikungunya, Malaria & Dengue: Know the difference)
How to protect against mosquito bites:
These mosquitos are typically active and bite around dawn and dusk.
- Stay in areas where there are screens
- Use Mosquito netting
- Close doors and windows and use an air-conditioner
- When outside: Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks
- Use Mosquito repellant
If you are pregnant and think you may have been exposed to the Zika virus, talk to your health care provider.
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