According to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention, the Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.
Most recently, the Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in babies of mother’s who contracted the virus during pregnancy. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s brain with microcephaly does not develop properly during the pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, this results in a smaller sized head.
What we DO know:
- Zika virus can be passed from pregnant women to their fetus during pregnancy or at delivery.
- Pregnant women can be infected with the Zika virus through the bite of an infected mosquito
- You can become infected by a male sex partner
- Pregnant women should not travel to areas affected by Zika
- Based on available evidence, the Zika virus infection in a woman who is not pregnant would not pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies after the virus has cleared from her blood.
What we DO NOT know:
- How likely a pregnant woman who has been exposed to Zika will get the virus
- How the virus will affect her pregnancy or how likely it is that Zika will pass to her fetus
- If the infected fetus will develop other birth defects or when in the pregnancy the infection might cause harm to the fetus
- If sexual transmission of Zika virus poses a different risk of birth defects that mosquito-borne transmission
If you must travel to Zika areas affected by Zika, speak with your healthcare provider about the risks of Zika Virus before you travel. Learn how to protect yourself from mosquito bites and try to avoid regions where Zika is present.
If you have traveled to a region where Zika is present and are pregnant, talk to your health care provider about Zika symptoms. If you would like to speak with a physician, you can make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center, call 718-291-3276.
For more FAQ’s on Zika Virus you will find the following websites helpful –www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.