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Zika Virus and Women of Child Bearing Age--Update January 3, 2017

Posted on January 3rd, 2017

Zika Virus and Pregnant Women-UPDATE January 3, 2017

Pregnant women are the only group known to be at significant risk for severe complications.  There have been reports of microcephaly among infants born to pregnant women who were infected with the Zika virus.  You may visit the CDC website @ www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/index.html for additional information.

Avoiding mosquito bites is the most important means of preventing Zika virus.  The use of EPA-approved insect repellents are safe for pregnant women when used as directed, http://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-insect-repellent-right-you.  Other measures include:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned place with window and door screens
  • Wear long, loose and light colored pants and shirts
  • Do Not use body scents that may attract insects
  • Wear clothing treated with the long lasting insecticide permethrin, http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/PermGen.html AND http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/permethrin.html.   This solution is available at sporting goods and agricultural suppliers.  It shoud NOT be used directly on human skin.
  • Men who have traveled to countries with ongoing Zika virus transmission who have a pregnant partner should abstain from sexual activity or consistently and correctly use condoms during sex for the duration of the pregnancy.

Update---August 5, 2016.  The State of Tennesse Department of Health has confirmed local transmission of Zika virus has recently been identified in Miami, Florida.  Tennessee has had 23 cases, all due to travel to other countries.  Because of rapidly changing events and guidance you should be aware of the following:

  • Pregnant women should avoid non-essential travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission identified by the Florida Department of Health - http://www.cdc.gov/zika/intheus/florida-update.html
  • Sexual transmission of Zika virus has been documented from both men and women to their partners.  Pregnant women should consistently use barriers against infection during sex with any partner who has traveled to an affected area, for the duration of pregnancy.
  • Women and men with possible exposure to Zika virus but without clinical illness should wait at least 8 weeks after exposure to attempt conception

Visit www.cdd.gov/zika/prevention/index.html or https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/protect-yourself.html for additional guidance.

If you have questions about a possible infection or diagnosis you may contact our office during regular business hours and one of our staff will be happy to assist you.  The following site- MotherToBaby is also another service recommended by the CDC that can provide helpful information.

If families would like to speak to someone about a possible Zika virus infection or diagnosis during pregnancy and risk to the baby, please contact MotherToBaby. MotherToBaby experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat. The free and confidential service is available Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (local time). To reach MotherToBaby:

  • Call 1-866-626-6847
  • Chat live or send an email through the MotherToBaby website

Update---January 3, 2017  The CDC has issued a new warning for pregnant women living in or traveling to Brownsville, TX.  You may follow this warning and the South Florida warning @ https://www.cdc.gov/zika/intheus/maps-zika-us.html.  If you are pregnant and planning to travel we urge you to check the CDC website for current information regarding the Zika virus outbreak.

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