What is the relationship between Zika and pregnancy?
Zika virus disease (Zika) is a mosquito-borne illness currently spreading in Latin America and the Caribbean. Some reports have stated that Zika virus may affect brain development in unborn children. Studies are being done to learn more about the risks of Zika in pregnancy. Until more is known, pregnant women should consider postponing travel to Zika-affected areas.
How do you catch Zika virus?
Zika virus is caught by a mosquito bite from a mosquito carrying the virus. If you must travel to Zika-affected areas, take precautions to minimize exposure. This includes using insect repellents, wearing long sleeves, long pants, socks, and sleeping in rooms with screened windows or air conditioning.
What are the symptoms?
Most people experience no symptoms or only mild symptoms. If symptoms occur they might include: fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes).
Who should be tested?
If you are pregnant AND traveled to a Zika-affected area during pregnancy, talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested for Zika.
What you should know about Zika virus testing:
- For pregnant women who may have been exposed to Zika 2-12 weeks ago
- For pregnant women living in an area with Zika
- For pregnant women who may have been exposed to Zika within the past two weeks
What is the Zika Pregnancy Registry?
To understand more about Zika virus infection during pregnancy and congenital Zika virus infections, CDC has established the US Zika Pregnancy Registry. Data collected through this surveillance effort will help guide recommendations for clinical care and testing, plan for services for pregnant women and families affected by Zika virus, and improve prevention of Zika virus infection during pregnancy. Preliminary information can be found on the CDC’s US Zika Pregnancy Registry website.
Recommendations for pregnant women are being updated as information is learned. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions.
What to know