ZIKA Information

Click here to see a video on Zika Virus and Pregnancy from ACOG (The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists).

The Zika virus is now a global concern.  We are learning more and more about the virus everyday.  This is the most up-to-date information we currently have on the virus. If you have concerns about the Zika virus, we encourage you to call our office 262-544-4411 and speak to a health professional.   Visit the CDC for the most current updates on Zika.

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus.  About one in five people infected with Zika virus become ill.  It can be transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito but also can be sexually transmitted. Zika can be transmitted to an unborn fetus.

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

Click here to read more on Zika.
Click here to download an informational PDF.

What We Know
If you have Zika, protect others from getting sick
  • During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.
  • Zika virus can be spread during sex.
  • We do not know how long the virus can stay in the semen of men who have had Zika, and how long the virus can be spread through sex.
  • We do know that the virus can stay in semen longer than in blood.
From mother to child
  • A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. Zika is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.
  • A pregnant woman already infected with Zika virus near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn around the time of birth.
  • To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found.
Through sexual contact
  • Zika virus can be spread by a man to his sex partners.
  • The virus can be spread during symptoms, before symptoms start and after symptoms resolve.
  • In one case, the virus was spread a few days before symptoms developed.
  • The virus is present in semen longer than in blood.
Risks

Anyone who lives in or travels to an area where Zika virus is found and has not already been infected with Zika virus can get it from mosquito bites. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

Symptoms
  • Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
  • See your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes within 2 weeks after traveling to a place where Zika has been reported. Be sure to tell your health care provider where you traveled.
  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
  • People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected.
  • Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in some people.
  • Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
Diagnosis
  • See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is found.
  • If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.
  • Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.
Treatment
  • There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika virus.
  • Treat the symptoms:
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Take medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®)
  • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding.
  • If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
  • If you have Zika, prevent mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.
  • During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites.
  • An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.

Travel Recommendations

OB patients – Travel Discouraged to Affected Areas

  • If necessary to travel to these areas- use caution to try to prevent mosquito bites
  • If you have traveled to an affected area, notify your health care provider.
Key Time For Testing
  • Showing symptoms – test during 1st 7 days of illness
  • No symptoms– test 2-12 weeks after return from travel
Male partners (that travel)
  • If female is currently pregnant –recommendation is for Male partners of OB patients  that travel to affected areas –  abstain from intercourse for duration of pregnancy OR correctly and consistently use condoms for duration of pregnancy.
  • If female is not currently pregnant – male has potential exposure (asymptomatic)- wait 8 weeks from last date of travel to attempt conception
Future Pregnancies
  • Female – symptomatic -Recommend waiting 8 weeks from time of symptom onset to attempt pregnancy
  • Potential exposure – wait 8 weeks from last date of travel to attempt conception
  • Male partner –  with Zika virus disease (symptoms) – recommend waiting 6 months from time of symptom onset to attempt pregnancy
  • Potential exposure – wait 8 weeks from last date of travel

*Adapted from the CDC

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Fax: 262-650-3856

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