Most pregnant women,
when they become infected with Zika virus have no symptoms.
About four out of every five women that are infected will
never know they're infected, one in five may develop some fever,
a rash, red eyes, joint pain.
The problem what we've discovered in pregnant women is
that the virus can actually cross the placenta and
infect their baby.
So, the babies, depending on when the woman gets infected,
may end up developing microcephaly,
which is a very small head, and
the brain development may actually be very abnormal.
It does, like a lot of viruses that end up affecting pregnant
women, the earlier on in pregnancy that they become
infected the more likely to have obvious abnormalities in
the fetus, because that's the time where the fetus is doing
the most of its development.
We do believe pregnant women are at
risk throughout the pregnancy.
We know that infections that have crossed the placenta and
actually affected the babies can occur at any time in
it just depends on when in pregnancy they are infected as
to what the effects are that we're going to see.
Right now we know that Zika virus will cross the placenta
and may affect a baby.
The problem is we have so
limited data that we don't know how many women will actually
infect their baby if they themselves become infected.
What the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or
The CDC, have come out as saying is that if you bear infected,
either in a previous pregnancy or
long before you become pregnant,
we don't think there will be an effect on the current pregnancy.
I do believe they should avoid travel,
if at all possible until we know more about how
this virus affects all pregnant women.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, American College
of OBGYN, Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine are all
recommending that pregnant women limit travel to affected areas.
If you are pregnant, and you have traveled to a Zika
affected area, immediately notify your obstetrician.
Because there are guidelines out there right now, put out by
the CDC, by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and
the Society for
Maternal Fetal Medicine that have all come together and
developed guidelines for how the obstetrician should evaluate
you, should evaluate the baby, and do all the testing.
We know how long the virus takes to infect a person.
We think we know how long the virus stays in a pregnant woman,
though we're still trying to make sure that number is
It can be transmitted sexually.
There have been several cases reported in the literature that
have discussed male to female transmission.
There still have not been any cases reported of a female
infecting a male through sexual transmission.
If your partner has traveled and you have not, and
you're pregnant, what we are recommending is
abstaining from sexual intercourse.
If you do have sexual intercourse,
make sure you're using condoms, consistently and correctly.
If you are pregnant, and you do have unprotected sexual
intercourse, make sure you notify your obstetrician,
because they may need to do an evaluation.