Zika Virus was reported in May 2015 in South America and has since spread throughout the Americas. The virus spreads to humans primarily through infected mosquitoes. Once infected, the incubation period is 3-12 days. Symptoms are non-specific and may include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. Only about 1 in 5 infected people exhibit symptoms and most will be mild.
Zika during pregnancy has been associated with significant birth defects, specifically microcephaly (mi·cro·ceph·a·ly). Although much is not known about Zika Virus in pregnancy, patients should contact their obstetricians immediately for suspected infection or exposure to the virus. Feel free to call our offices directly with any questions or concerns regarding Zika.
Avoiding exposure is the best prevention. Pregnant women should avoid travel to areas where Zika Virus outbreaks are ongoing. In these areas, all precautions should be taken to avoid mosquito bites including EPA-approved bug spray with DEET, covering exposed skin, and staying in screened areas.
Information provided by the CDC and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offer much more detail on the issue, including travel advisory and important changes and updates to managing the Zika virus.