Zika, pregnancy, and winter travel: Many unknowns, and a cautious message

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I’ve been receiving many questions from my sufferers who’re pregnant (or attempting to get pregnant) who wish to escape the Boston winter climate for hotter trip climates, however are fearful about Zika virus. Presently inflicting a widespread outbreak in Brazil, Zika virus is considered the causative agent of microcephaly in infants whose moms have been contaminated throughout being pregnant there.

I’ve been stressing that my sufferers ought to take a look at the CDC Zika journey notices, which warn towards journey to standard winter trip locations within the Caribbean, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Though there isn’t any proof that pre-pregnancy publicity to Zika is problematic, I’ve additionally been reinforcing to my sufferers that they need to keep away from journey to those endemic areas if they’re at the moment pregnant or attempting to get pregnant, and I’ve additionally been advising delaying getting pregnant for a few months after coming back from one in all these endemic areas. There have been experiences that, not often, Zika will be transmitted sexually from males to ladies. Subsequently, males ought to use condoms if they’ve been uncovered to the virus and their companion is pregnant. It’s not recognized how lengthy the virus could stay in semen.

When it’s completely essential to journey to those locations whereas pregnant, reminiscent of for pressing household or enterprise points, mosquito chew prevention is essential. You’ll be able to keep away from bites through the use of insect repellent, carrying applicable apparel to protect your extremities, and staying in locations with home windows, display doorways, or air con. EPA-registered insect repellents that include components reminiscent of DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 are protected to be used throughout being pregnant. The CDC web site accommodates detailed data on how you can keep away from mosquito bites.

I’ve additionally obtained questions on trip journey to areas reminiscent of Florida and Hawaii which might be shut by locations with Zika transmission however not at the moment listed as experiencing an outbreak. To this point, there was no mosquito-borne Zika transmission in the US, so these locations are an excellent warm-climate possibility.

Based on the CDC, just one in 5 folks contaminated with Zika virus will develop into symptomatic. The attribute medical findings are a sudden fever with rash, joint aches, or conjunctivitis (reddening of the whites of the eyes), normally inside 1 to 2 weeks of an infection. Different reported signs embrace headache and muscle aches. The sickness is normally gentle, with signs lasting for a number of days to every week. The precise charges of an infection with Zika virus, maternal-to-fetal transmission, immune response, precisely what the connection is between Zika virus and fetal microcephaly, irregular mind growth, or different opposed being pregnant outcomes are usually not at the moment recognized.

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