With Spring Break on the horizon for many in the United States, we at Bundoo thought an update on the Zika virus would be helpful. Women who are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant should read on to see how this virus may affect their travel plans in the coming weeks and months.
The most recent numbers Zika virus infections—As of this writing, 1,394 pregnant women in the United States have tested positive for the Zika virus. These numbers indicate possible Zika infection (since our prenatal tests are not perfect). The tally also relies on these results being submitted to a pregnancy registry, so they may not be completely accurate.
The latest areas where travel should be avoided—The Centers for Disease Control website is still the best place to see countries that are affected and where travel warnings are issued. Since this can change frequently, we recommend checking there to see if a place you are planning to travel is on the list. Recommendations may include “enhanced precautions” or “avoid unnecessary travel,” and this can help you decide if you may want to cancel or adjust your trip.
The most recent recommendations on how to prevent getting the virus—We still have no vaccine to prevent Zika virus. However, there are things you can do to prevent becoming infected with this virus, which is spread via mosquito bites. Avoiding travel to affected areas, using insect repellant and clothing to avoid being bitten, and practicing safe sex to prevent getting the virus from this route are all ways to help keep you and your baby safe.
Update on Zika virus and spread via sexual contact—We now know that Zika virus can be spread sexually, even if a person shows no symptoms. The CDC now recommends that if a man travels to a country affected by Zika virus and his partner is pregnant that he avoids sex or uses condoms for the entire pregnancy. This page on the CDC website has excellent information on how to decrease your chance of spreading the virus or becoming infected.
What to do if you show concerning symptoms—If you are worried you may have the Zika virus (and you can check here to see the common symptoms), be sure to contact your doctor or midwife right away to be screened. The testing recommendations have changed some since the outbreak first began, but your provider will be able to follow the CDC guidance to order the appropriate tests for you.
- The Zika virus outbreak is ongoing
- Countries affected by Zika virus with travel recommendations change frequently, so the Centers for Disease Control website can be helpful
- Recommendations on avoiding the spread of the virus via sexual contact should be followed if you or your partner travel to an area affected by Zika