Pregnant or Planning to Be? How to Protect Yourself from Zika Virus

Pregnant or Planning to Be? How to Protect Yourself from Zika Virus

Although uncommon in the United States, the threat of the Zika virus is growing as people travel around the world. Women who are, or are planning to become pregnant should be aware of the cause and threat of the virus. Zika has been linked to problems such as brain abnormalities, damage to vision and hearing, and even possible death for an unborn child. To combat the problem, here are some simple precautions outlined by Dr. Joseph Biggio of the University of Alabama at Birmingham that can help minimize these risks. These precautions include avoiding travel to areas where the virus is spread, use of insect repellent containing DEET, and use of condoms by men who are at possible risk of exposure.

Key Points:

  • 1Zika virus can cause birth defects and therefore is a severe threat to pregnant women or women who may become pregnant.
  • 2Zika virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse and thus is also a threat to men who may impregnate a woman.
  • 3There are unknown factors about transmission of the Zika virus and therefore people should take serious precautions to avoid infection.

If you are pregnant, I recommend protecting yourself and your baby by using insect repellents.

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