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Warning for pregnant women and travel to areas with Zika virus (2016)

Warning for pregnant women and travel to areas with Zika virus (2016)

Old Jan 20, 16, 1:08 pm
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Warning for pregnant women and travel to areas with Zika virus (2016)

There has been a lot of news recently about the Zika virus' expansion to the Americas, including Puerto Rico, and the probable relationship of Zika virus (only one of five infected will likely show significant symptoms) and instances of microcephaly in infants born of women who have been infected by Zika.

The U.S. Center's for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, in part:

(15 Jan 2015) CDC has issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Link
and

"This alert follows reports in Brazil of microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. However, additional studies are needed to further characterize this relationship. More studies are planned to learn more about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

Until more is known, and out of an abundance of caution, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant:

Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who must travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.

Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip. "

See the CDC / U. S. Center's for Disease Control and Prevention (see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/20...us-travel.html.
See more about Zika (as well as Dengue and Chikungunya viruses) in http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...es-2016-a.html
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Old Jan 26, 16, 7:35 pm
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Good on you, OP, for posting this.

A VERY serious problem.
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Old Feb 14, 16, 2:08 pm
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Some evidence suggests Zika virus can also be transmitted to humans through blood transfusion, perinatal transmission and sexual transmission. However, these modes are very rare. (WHO)
Note that recent information from Texas reports a woman who did. She apparently was infected with Zika through her male partner's semen. Preliminary evidence indicates active Zika virus can be transmitted through sexual activity, and I'd imagine only barrier methods of protection will be useful in such a case. I've never heard of any spermicide such as nonoxynol-9 reported as clinically effective against a virus, though when used in addition to a condom it might be effective.

Zika virus is believed to require between two and seven days to incubate. Beyond that many are asymptomatic. Others may experience

Zika virus infection is characterized by low grade fever (less than 38.5°C / 101 F) frequently accompanied by a maculopapular rash. Other common symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain with possible swelling (notably of the small joints of the hands and feet), headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. As symptoms are often mild, infection may go unrecognized or be misdiagnosed as dengue.

A high rate of asymptomatic infection with Zika virus is expected, similar to other flaviviruses, such as dengue virus and West Nile virus. Most people fully recover without severe complications, and hospitalization rates are low. To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus.
Zika is assumed to take its course, once incubated, in a week or so. It may be women of childbearing age or who are pregnant may wish to discuss this issue with their knowledgeable physician or health practitioner, with considerations ranging from postponing sexual relations with men who have traveled recently in Zika infected areas or use barrier contraceptives with spermaticidal assistance; men have traveled in Zika virus should be aware of these issues as well, particularly if may be contemplating sexual relations with women of childbearing age or who may be pregnant .

(And I'd avoid donating blood for some time - it may be blood bank donor services cover this already, but I'd ask - I don't donate because I frequently travel, to malarious areas - five year exclusion - as well as areas where yellow fever, dengue, Chikungunya etc. are common.)

As well, airlines are updating their policies regarding Zika virus, for passengers and for employees. The policies seem quite variable, so I'd recommend contacting the airline one is ticketed or going to be ticketed on.

I'm posting this in the Women Travelers forum because Zika is not considered dangerous for adults - nobody has ever died of it, for example - and symptoms are usually mild at worst. But women of childbearing age and become pregnant or who are pregnant and become infected with Zika are at risk of giving birth to children with anomalous brain development including microcephaly.

And nothing here is intended or to be taken as medical advice; please discuss this further with your health practitioner.

Last edited by JDiver; Feb 14, 16 at 2:25 pm
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