Zika Virus Safety, new Guidelines

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by,

Suzanne Coleman, MD

People in both Ohio and Indiana have recently tested positive for the Zika virus.  These people had recently traveled to countries where there are higher incidences of the virus.  Zika is now known to be in several states in the US.  As such, it makes sense to use caution and educate yourselves about the risks of this virus.  The main concern is that pregnant women who are infected with the virus have a much higher risk of their baby being born with microcephaly, a severe malformation.

I have just received some updated recommendations from the Indiana Dept. of Health regarding how to try and stay safe from the Zika virus while pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the US currently:

This advice is for people whose sexual partners have been exposed to Zika:
Male suspected Zika patients should also be advised to abstain or use condoms during sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) until test results are available.”
I would also add that pregnant patients should avoid contact with female sexual partners who have been exposed as well, or use similar barriers to condoms.
In addition, in order to avoid the possibility of spreading the virus to others around you, they offer this good advice:
“Suspected Zika patients should be advised to avoid mosquito exposure for one week by remaining indoors in an air conditioned or screened environment or by wearing EPA-registered insect repellents when outdoors.”
Earlier recommendations included avoiding travel to areas with high rates of Zika virus infection for those who plan to become pregnant or are pregnant.  There are additional details on this and other situations on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, www.cdc.gov.
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An earlier report can be found here:
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