About Zika Virus
- Zika is transmitted primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The virus can also be spread by a man to his sex partners. No vaccine exists at this time.
- There is an outbreak of Zika in more than 40 Latin American countries, listed Legacy Community Health advises pregnant patients to postpone travel to these countries if they are pregnant or considering pregnancy. Zika can cause birth defects.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant and have traveled to an area with Zika in the past 2-3 weeks, even if you don’t feel sick.
Pregnant Women (adapted from the CDC)
- Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe brain defects.
- Women who are pregnant should not travel to areas with Zika. If you must travel to one of these areas or if you live in an area with Zika, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and to prevent sexual transmission.
Symptoms (adapted from the CDC)
- Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache.
- See your doctor or other healthcare provider if you are pregnant and develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes within 2 weeks after traveling to a place where Zika has been reported. Be sure to tell your doctor or other healthcare provider where you traveled. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
Prevention (adapted from the CDC)
- Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellents, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and staying in places with air conditioning and screens to keep mosquitoes outside. Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.
- Use condoms. To help prevent spreading Zika from sex, you can use condoms, correctly from start to finish, every time you have sex. This includes vaginal, anal, and oral (mouth-to-penis) sex. Not having sex is the only way to be sure that someone does not get sexually transmitted Zika virus.