News & Events
Zika Virus Information
Our physicians and staff would like all of our pregnant patients to be aware of a mosquito borne virus in foreign countries which may be related to birth defects. As of 1/18/2016 the Centers For Disease Control has recommended to postpone travel to any areas where Zika Virus has been reported. If travel is unavoidable it is recommended to do everything possible to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. Currently there are many countries, even our own, affected by this virus. Below we have provided a list. If you have recently traveled to any of these areas and had symptoms of illness please discuss this with one of us the next time you are in the office. Symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, muscle aches and headaches after being bitten by mosquitoes in these affected areas.
Zika Cases Reported in the United States
Advice for people living in or traveling to South Florida
The Florida Department of Health has identified two areas of Miami-Dade County where Zika is being spread by mosquitoes. In addition to the previously identified area in the Wynwood neighborhood, there is now mosquito-borne spread of Zika virus in a section of Miami Beach.
This guidance is for people who live in or traveled to the identified area of Miami Beach any time after July 14. This guidance also still applies for those who live in or traveled to the previously identified Wynwood area any time after June 15. These timeframes are based on the earliest time symptoms can start and the maximum 2-week incubation period for Zika virus.
Pregnant women and their partners
- Pregnant women should not travel to these areas.
- Pregnant women and their partners living in or traveling to these areas should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites(https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/prevent-mosquito-bites.html).
- Women and men who live in or traveled to these areas and who have a pregnant sex partner should use condoms to prevent infection(https://www.cdc.gov/zika/transmission/sexual-transmission.html) every time they have sex or not have sex during the pregnancy.
- Pregnant women and their partners who are concerned about being exposed to Zika may want to consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.
- All pregnant women in the United States should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure and signs or symptoms of Zika during each prenatal care visit.
- Pregnant women who live in or frequently travel to these areas should be tested in the first and second trimester of pregnancy.
- Pregnant women with possible Zika exposure and signs or symptoms of Zika should be tested for Zika.
- Pregnant women who traveled to or had unprotected sex with a partner that traveled to or lives in these areas should talk to their healthcare provider and should be tested(https://www.cdc.gov/zika/symptoms/diagnosis.html) for Zika.
Couples thinking about getting pregnant
- Women with Zika should wait(https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/thinking-about-pregnancy.html) at least 8 weeks after symptoms began before trying to get pregnant, and men with Zika should wait at least 6 months after symptoms began.
- Women and men who live in or frequently travel to these areas should talk to their healthcare provider.
- Women and men who traveled to these areas should wait at least 8 weeks before trying to get pregnant.
Women and men of reproductive age
- Effective contraception to prevent pregnancy(https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/preventing-pregnancy.html) in women and their partners who want to delay or prevent pregnancy is a key prevention strategy for Zika.
Zika During Pregnancy
Zika during pregnancy has been associated with birth defects, specifically significant microcephaly (abnormal smallness of the head associated with incomplete brain development). Transmission of Zika to the unborn has been documented in all trimesters. The rate of transmission from the mother to her unborn child and the rate with which infected unborn manifest complications is still largely unknown. The absence of this important information makes management and decision making in the setting of potential Zika virus exposure (i.e. travel to endemic areas) or maternal infection, difficult. Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment for this infection.
If you are currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant and have plans to travel to one of the countries listed below, we recommend postponing your trip. If travel cannot be postponed, reduce your risk by preventing mosquito bites including using EPA-approved bug spray with DEET, covering exposed skin, staying in air-conditioned rooms, and treating clothing with permethrin. It is safe for pregnant or nursing women to use EPA-approved repellants if applied according to the package instructions.
Zika and Pregnancy Q & A
What is known about the effects of Zika virus on pregnant women?
We expect that the course of Zika virus disease is similar to that in the general population. No evidence exists to suggest that pregnant women are more susceptible or experience more severe disease during pregnancy. It is not known if pregnant women are more susceptible to Guillain-Barré syndrome.
How can Zika virus infection be prevented?
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus infection. Travelers can protect themselves by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. Use insect repellent; wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants; and stay in places with air conditioning or with window and door screens. Pregnant women can and should choose an EPA-registered insect repellents and use it according to the product label.
Which pregnant women should be tested for Zika virus infection?
Obstetrical providers should obtain a travel history from all pregnant women and use recent travel history to guide decisions about testing. Testing is not indicated for pregnant women without a travel history to an area with Zika virus transmission.
Pregnant women with a history of travel to an area with Zika virus transmission and who report two or more symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease (including acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia or conjunctivitis) during or within two weeks of travel should be tested. In addition, pregnant women with a history of travel to an area with Zika virus transmission and who have ultrasound findings of fetal microcephaly or intracranial calcifications should also be tested for Zika virus infection. Testing should be performed in consultation with state or local health departments.
If a woman who is not pregnant is bitten by a mosquito and infected with Zika virus, will her future pregnancies be at risk?
We do not know the risk to the infant if a woman is infected with Zika virus while she is pregnant. Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for only a few days to a week. The virus will not cause infections in an infant that is conceived after the virus is cleared from the blood. There is currently no evidence that Zika virus infection poses a risk of birth defects in future pregnancies. A women contemplating pregnancy, who has recently recovered from Zika virus infection, should consult her healthcare provider after recovering.
Is it safe to get pregnant after traveling to a country with Zika virus?
If infected, Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week. The virus will not cause infections in a baby that is conceived after the virus is cleared from the blood.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us.