Zika Virus: What You Need to Know and How It is Impacting Women in the Gulf South

Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by Touro Infirmary.

Zika Virus :: What You Need to Know

If you’ve turned on the TV in recent months, you’ve no doubt heard about the Zika virus outbreak.

So, what does it all mean and how is Zika impacting women, specifically those who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant in the United States?

Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.

zika graphic 1Zika in the United States ::  

No local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in US states to date, but there have been 346 travel-associated cases. Local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus has been reported in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Please reference the CDC website for an updated list.

Who is at Risk?

Anyone is at risk of getting the virus. Pregnant women can pass the virus to their fetus and lead to birth defects in babies.

How to protect yourself if pregnant or planning to get pregnant ::zika virus featured

  • Do not travel to areas where Zika virus is spreading.
  • If you must travel to these areas, talk to your doctor first.
  • Strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
  • If you have a male partner who lives in or has traveled to an area with Zika, either use condoms the right way every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex, or do not have sex during the pregnancy.
  • If you are planning to get pregnant and are infected by Zika you should wait at least 8 weeks after symptoms start to conceive.
  • If you have a male partner who lives in or has traveled to an area with Zika, the CDC advises waiting at least six months after the symptoms start before trying to conceive.

Zika Warning Signs ::

Most people won’t have symptoms or even know they are infected with the virus. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

The Most Common Zika Symptoms Are :: 

  • Conjunctivitis (Red Eyes)
  • Fever
  • Joint Pain
  • Rash

People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

zika graphic

About Paul du Treil, MD, FACOG

Dutreil, LouisPaul du Treil, MD, FACOG, has practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology with Crescent City Physicians since 2005. Dr. du Treil earned a B.S. from Loyola University and followed with his M.D. from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in 1996. He served his OB/GYN internship at the University of Florida College of Medicine from 1996-1997 and his residency from 1997-2000. Dr. du Treil is Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and serves as the Director of Maternal and Child Health at Touro Infirmary.


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