Zika Virus and Pregnancy

Friday, April 15th, 2016 in Blog

With the current reports from the CDC, there is concern for Zika virus transmission during pregnancy and the time of conception. Below is the most current recommendations from ACOG and the CDC.

Zika Virus Recommendations for planning pregnancy or currently pregnant

  1. Women who have the Zika virus disease should wait 8 weeks AFTER symptom onset to attempt conception
  2. Men with Zika virus disease should wait at least 6 months AFTER symptom onset to attempt conception
  3. Women and Men WITHOUT clinical illness but with possible Zika virus exposure should wait at least 8 weeks after exposure to attempt conception
    1. Possible exposure:
      1. Travel to or Residence in an area of active Zika virus transmission
      2. Sex without a condom with a man who traveled to or resided in an area with active transmission

How will I know if I have been infected?

Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquito, but can be sexually transmitted.

Most persons infected with virus are asymptomatic

Signs and Symptoms: fever, macular or papular rash, arthralgia, and conjunctivitis

What can happen to my baby if I have the virus?

There is increasing evidence of virus infection and adverse pregnancy outcomes:

Pregnancy loss

Microcephaly

Brain and eye abnormalities

What is the risk to my baby if I do test positive for the virus?

Risk is currently unknown.

What testing is available?

  1. Should be performed in any person with possible exposure to Zika virus or anyone with symptoms within 2 weeks of possible exposure
  2. Routine testing is NOT currently recommended for women attempting to conceive who have possible exposure, but no clinical symptoms.
  3. RT-PCR testing of semen has not yet been validated
  4. Fertility patients- using own gametes should follow guidelines above
  5. Testing includes Zika virus RT-PCR and Zika virus IgM
  6. Testing performed 2-12 weeks after travel to affected areas
  7. If initial test negative- retest mid second trimester
  8. If initial test positive- consider serial ultrasounds

What Preventative Measures can I take?

  1. Window screens at home
  2. Wear Protective clothing
  3. Use of EPA-registered insect repellant
  4. Remove standing water in containers
  5. Use condoms or abstain from sex throughout pregnancy

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