Pregnancy and Zika Virus: Prevention and Guidelines

JZIn the middle of February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had issued guidelines for preventing the spread of the Zika virus. According to CDC, it is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika includes:

  • fever
  • rash
  • joint pains
  • red eyes (conjunctivitis)

The symptoms can last for several days to a week after bitten by a mosquito. Zika can be spread from a pregnant mother to her fetus and is known to cause serious birth defect to the brain called microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition in which a baby’s head is significantly smaller than expected.

According to CDC, the virus can be transmitted from men to his sexual partners. The CDC had issued the following guidelines and recommendations for men and their partners who live in or have traveled to places with Zika:

  • Refrain from sexual activity with a pregnant woman or use protections (condoms) during sex for the duration of the pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women should discuss the possible exposure to Zika with their doctor. Their doctors can follow the CDC guidelines to properly test a pregnant woman for the virus.
  • Men should refrain from sexual activity or use protections (condoms) with non-pregnant partners.

In the beginning of March, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new guidelines on the Zika virus. “There is a potential risk that the virus can be transmitted by HCT/Ps used as part of a medical, surgical, or reproductive procedure. HCT/Ps include products such as corneas, bone, skin, heart valves, hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HPCs), gestational tissues such as amniotic membrane, and reproductive tissues such as semen and oocytes.” Donors who are at risk of transmitting the virus are considered to be ineligible.

If you are trying to conceive, please consider consulting Dr. Zhang after screening for the virus.

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