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Zika Update

Posted on 05/09/2016 at 4:45 PM

What is Zika virus?
It’s a Flavivirus transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitos.
 
How is Zika virus spread?
The most common way is by the bite of an infected mosquito.
 
Mother to baby transmission, transmission through sex, transmission through a blood transfusion, and exposure in a lab are other ways the Zika virus can be spread.

Where’s Zika?
Central America.
South America.
US Virgin Islands.

It has been identified in other areas as well, but is not widespread yet.
 
What does Zika virus really cause? Is it really harmful?
Yes. Current data supports the association between Zika and pregnancy loss, microcephaly (small head), and other brain and eye problems. 

What are the symptoms of Zika virus?
About 1 in 5 people INFECTED with the virus become ill. So, you may have the virus, but show NO signs or symptoms of illness.

The symptoms are: fever, rash, joint pain, inflammation or infection of the eyeball. Some people have muscle aches, headaches, pain behind the eyes, itching and vomiting. 

What do I do?
Avoid exposure if possible, meaning, avoid areas that are high risk. 

If you must travel to these areas, wear EPA-approved bug spray with DEET (which is safe in pregnancy) and other protective clothing for mosquito bites. 

Is there any treatment for Zika virus?
NO. 

Is there a vaccine for Zika?
Not yet, but it is currently being worked on and will likely hit clinical trials this Fall.

When is Zika most harmful in a pregnancy?
Zika can affect woman in ALL 3 trimesters. 

Who should be tested?
ALL pregnant women with POSSIBLE exposure to Zika virus AND pregnant women residing in areas with local Zika virus transmission. 

How do I get tested (if I’m pregnant, and have had exposure or suspect infection)?
Seek medical care with any provider as soon as possible for blood work.

How long should I wait to travel if I am considering pregnancy?    
Conservative providers feel that a woman should wait a minimum of 6 months until after you have returned from an affected Zika area before trying for pregnancy.

For more information: 
www.cdc.gov/zika

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