The Zika Virus and Pregnancy

March 3, 2016 While the Zika virus has been declared a world health emergency by the World Health Organization, it's helpful to know that the United States is NOT among the countries with active Zika Virus transmission.

The virus is mainly transmitted to humans through the bite of a certain species of mosquitoes and was first detected in Brazil in the spring of 2015. By February of 2016 it had spread to 26 countries and territories in the Americas. While only about one in five people infected with the Zika virus become ill, the key threat is that it can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus and potentially cause a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly.

According to the CDC, knowledge of the link between Zika and birth defects is evolving, but until more is known, the organization recommends special precautions for pregnant women. If you are pregnant in any trimester, you are encouraged to postpone travel to any area where Zika virus is spreading. Those who are travelling to those areas should talk to their healthcare provider and be vigilant in their efforts to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

To learn more about prevention, symptoms and treatment, speak with your doctor or visit the CDC web site.