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

[MUSIC] 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. [MUSIC] 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. [MUSIC] 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. [MUSIC] 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. [MUSIC] 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. [MUSIC] 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. [MUSIC] 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. [MUSIC] 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 correct. [MUSIC] 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. [MUSIC] 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. [MUSIC]


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