What You Need to Know About Zika Virus | Pregnancy and Sexual Transmission


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

the pregnancy,

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.