The Zika virus has been in the news a lot lately. It’s a legitimate concern, especially for couples who are expecting or planning a pregnancy in the next month or so.
Learn more in this video report on what you need to know if you’re expecting.
Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say:
Zika virus spreads to people through mosquito bites of the Aedes species of mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are:
The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas. Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it’s likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries.
To date, there are no known cases of Zika disease that resulted from a person being bitten by an Aedes mosquito in the U.S. There have been cases reported in Puerto Rico and in travelers returning from outbreak areas.
Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus. There have been reports of birth defects and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.
Until more is known, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and those who are planning pregnancy:
Scientists at CDC and the Pan American Health Organization are working with public health experts in Brazil and other affected countries to investigate the link between Zika virus infection and microcephaly, a birth defect that results in a baby with a smaller than normal head.
If you have questions about Zika or the safety of travel, ask your health care professional.