The Zika news can be stressful to read if you’re planning a pregnancy, and the evolving story leaves many women wondering how the virus might impact their plans to have a baby.
Here’s what you need to know today— (As of April 22, 2016)—
As of now, the United States is NOT considered an area with ongoing Zika Virus transmission.
Although there have been cases of Zika reported in the United States, these cases were acquired abroad. Transmission of Zika in the United States is likely to occur, however, there is no clear estimate of the amount of cases expected.
Women considering pregnancy should discuss with their providers whether or not they should travel depending on the proposed destination. See http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/.
—Currently, travel warnings only pertain to areas where local transmission of Zika Virus occurs and has been reported. These include areas of Brazil, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
—If travel to areas where Zika virus is necessary, women should avoid mosquito bites, use EPA-approved bug spray with DEET, cover exposed skin, stay in air-conditioned or screened-in areas and treat clothing with permethrin. Both EPA-approved bug spray with DEET and permethrin are safe in pregnancy. These measures should be utilized both day and night.
—If you may have been exposed to Zika Virus and have any of the following symptoms, you may need to be evaluated for ZIKV: fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Consultation with a physician is recommended.
—Only 1 in 5 infected individuals will exhibit these symptoms and most will have mild symptoms.
—If you are diagnosed with Zika you should wait at least 8 weeks after symptoms have started to attempt pregnancy.
—If you are pregnant and have traveled to an area with ongoing Zika transmission, but you have NOT had any of the above symptoms during the travel period or within 2 weeks of returning, testing may be offered to you 2-12 weeks after your travel.
—There is a risk of sexual transmission through exposure to semen of males with Zika infection.
—Pregnant women whose male partners have traveled to countries where Zika is reported or those who have Zika infection should consider using condoms or abstaining from sexual intercourse for the remainder of the pregnancy.