Zika is still a threat
Zika virus is still a risk for pregnant women and their babies. In addition to the 4,800 pregnancies in the U.S. territories and freely associated states, nearly 2,500 pregnancies in U.S. states Zika virus infection; most infections occurred during travel.
Zika virus can be transmitted from the bite of an infected mosquito, from a pregnant woman to her developing baby, through sex, and through blood transfusion. Most of the cases in the U.S. states resulted from mosquito bites during travel to areas with risk of Zika. There are currently no areas with local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the continental United States. Though transmission has declined around the world, Zika virus continues to spread at low levels in many areas, and nearly 100 countries and territories are areas with risk of Zika. For this reason, CDC continues to urge pregnant women not to travel to areas with risk of Zika and recommends that men and women who travel to an area with risk of Zika wait before trying to conceive.
CDC releases updated guidance for timing of pregnancy after Zika exposure
This issue of CDC’s Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report also includes updated CDC guidance for couples planning to become pregnant after possible exposure to Zika virus.
CDC now recommends that men with possible Zika virus exposure who are planning to conceive with their partner wait at least 3 months after symptoms or possible exposure (travel to or residence in an area with risk of Zika). This shortened timeframe also applies for men who are not planning to conceive with their partners but who want to prevent passing of Zika virus through sex. These updated recommendations are based on emerging data, which suggest that risk of infectious Zika virus in semen appears to decline substantially during the 3 months after onset of symptoms.
All other Zika guidance remains unchanged. Men with possible Zika virus exposure whose partner is pregnant should use condoms or the couple should not have sex for the entire pregnancy to reduce the risk of transmission. CDC continues to evaluate all available evidence and will continue to update recommendations as new information becomes available.
For more information about Zika virus and pregnancy visit https://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/zika/.
For more information about CDC’s guidance on care of infants and children born to mothers with possible Zika virus infections during pregnancy visit https://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/zika/testing-follow-up/infants-children.html. For resources and tools to help track your child’s development visit https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/.
For information on CDC’s guidance for women and their partners trying to become pregnant after possible Zika virus exposure, visit https://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/zika/women-and-their-partners.html.
About Vital Signs
Vital Signs is a CDC report that typically appears on the first Tuesday of the month as part of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report provides the latest data and information on key health indicators, and what can be done to drive down these health threats.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.
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