Summer time Pregnancy and Zika Virus

It’s summer again and soon beautiful and not so desirable insects will be prominently among us again. If you are planning on getting pregnant this summer, the Zika virus and mosquitoes will undoubtedly be on your mind.

There is still so much we do not understand about Zika virus and its effect on pregnancy however, staying informed and up to date on recommendations surrounding women and pregnancy is paramount.

We know that Zika is spread by the Aedes mosquito species.

An infection with the virus is defined by a bite from a mosquito and at least one symptom such as fever, rash, joint pains, pink eye, and laboratory confirmation of Zika virus infection, however 4 out of 5 people who are infected do not show any symptoms.

Possible Zika virus exposure is defined as travel to or residence in an area of active Zika virus transmission or sex without a condom with a partner who traveled to or lived in an area of active transmission.

WE recommend you use EPA-approved bug spray with DEET, covering exposed skin, staying in air-conditioned or screened-in areas, and treating clothing with permethrin. IR3535 or Avon made “Skin So Soft” is also effective and easily absorbed.

Consistently and correctly using condoms during sex or abstaining from sex for the duration of the pregnancy is recommended if you have a sex partner that has traveled to or lives in an area with active Zika virus transmission.

Women who have been exposed to Zika virus should wait 8 weeks before trying to conceive however if a male partner has been exposed to the virus, a 6 month waiting time is recommended before unprotected sex.

The CDC and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) keep updates on areas with Zika outbreaks. As of March 2017, these are the areas with known Zika infections. The next update will be sometime in June.

Please feel free to book an appointment with our doctors at Annandale Obgyn to have your questions answered.

Author: Dr. Anna Le

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