Understanding testing for Zika virus infection during pregnancy:
If you are pregnant, you should see a doctor or other health care provider if:
- You develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes)
- You live in or have frequent traveled to an area with Zika or had sex without a condom with a person who lives in or frequently travels to an area with Zika, even if you do not have symptoms.
Your health care provider may order blood or urine tests to look for Zika or other viruses like dengue or chikungunya.
Below are a few factsheets from the CDC about Zika virus :
- Pregnant and worried about Zika?
- Pregnant? Read this before you travel.
- What to know if you have a positive Zika test
- Preventing Sexual Transmission
If you have additional questions about testing, please contact your Local Health Department.
The U.S. Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry:
The following CDC fact sheets about the U.S. Zika Pregnancy and Infants Registry for women and families are available:
For more information about the U.S. Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry, click here.
If you had possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy, it is very important that you follow-up with your doctor at these specific time points:
- 1st trimester
- 2nd trimester
- 3rd trimester
For your baby: Tell your baby’s doctor that you may have had Zika virus while you were pregnant
- At delivery
- Your baby should be tested for Zika virus
- Your baby should get a head ultrasound
- 2 months
- 6 months
- 12 months
- 18 months
- 24 months
For an easy way to keep track of your follow-up progress, check out this roadmap!
Understanding Pregnancy Outcomes:
We know that Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects and is associated with other pregnancy problems. Recognizing that Zika virus is a cause of certain birth defects does not mean that every pregnant woman infected with Zika will have a baby with a birth defect. It means that infection with Zika during pregnancy increases the chances for these problems. Scientists continue to study how Zika virus affects mothers and their children to better understand the full range of potential health problems that Zika virus during pregnancy may cause.
Zika and Microcephaly:
Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly. During pregnancy, a baby’s head grows because the baby’s brain grows. Microcephaly can occur because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth.
- What to know: If your doctor suspects microcephaly
- What to know: If your baby may have been affected by Zika, but has no related health conditions at birth
- What to know: If you baby was born with congenital Zika syndrome
Congenital Zika Syndrome:
Congenital Zika Syndrome is a pattern of birth defects found among fetuses and babies infected with Zika virus during pregnancy. It is described by the following features:
- Smaller than expected head size, called microcephaly
- Problems with brain development
- Feeding problems, such as difficulty swallowing
- Hearing loss
- Vision problems
- A problem with joint movement, called contractures
- Too much muscle tone restricting body movement soon after birth
Zika and the Asymptomatic Infant:
We do not yet know all of the ways Zika virus infection during pregnancy might affect a baby, including problems that may not be obvious when a baby is born. Because we are still learning about the long-term effects of Zika virus infection during pregnancy, it is important for you and your doctor to continue to collaborate with the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry throughout your baby’s entire first year. Tracking your baby’s development will help to identify any problems early and help manage infant medical care.
Track your baby’s development through:
- CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program
- VDH Family Home Visiting
- Virginia Statewide Parent Coalition
Click here to learn more about Zika virus from the Virginia Department of Health