Of the 157 million women in the United States, the CDC has reported that only 433 lab tests have shown traces of the Zika virus.
While these numbers may seem low, the Florida Department of Health has recently issued a statement regarding an increased risk of infection for certain areas of the state as mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus have been identified in Wynwood, a neighborhood of Miami.
Health authorities are suggesting that pregnant women, especially those who have visited or live in south Florida, take the following precautions:
Protect Yourself Against Mosquito Bites
Begin using an insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535. Some popular brands that include these ingredients include:
- Cutter Advanced
- Skin to Soft Bug Guard Plus
Use Protection During Sexual Intercourse
A person carrying Zika can transmit the virus to their partner during vaginal, anal or oral intercourse. Traces of Zika have been found in semen, vaginal fluid and saliva, so it is vital that any intimate contact be protected. The CDC recommends using male or female condoms and dental dams.
Get Tested for Zika
Pregnant women should be tested for the virus by a healthcare professional, especially if they are in their first or second trimester. The CDC is recommending that pregnant women receive a test during each of their check ups. In addition, women who had unprotected sex since their last test should seek an additional test. This is needed as the virus could have been transferred from a partner.
Wait Before Attempting to Conceive a Child
If a child has not been conceived yet, a woman with Zika should wait at least eight weeks before attempting to have a child. Men who have been diagnosed should wait six months after symptoms began. For peace of mind, a couple should observe this waiting period and have another test performed before trying.
Look for Symptoms
Many people who have contracted Zika may only have mild symptoms, and in some cases, symptoms may not show at all. The effects tend to last a few days to a week and may include:
- Pain in Joints
- Red Eyes
- Persistent Headaches
- Muscle Pain and Discomfort
If you experience any of these symptoms and you are expecting, call (407) 323-3550 to schedule a prenatal appointment as soon as possible.