by Justine Deputy, RN, MSN
What is Zika?
Zika is a virus disease spread to humans through a bite from an infected Aedes species mosquito (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). Symptoms most often include mild fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).
Why is Zika a concern?
So why has Zika become such a concern across the world over the last several months? Zika has been found to cause birth defects during pregnancy. A Zika infection during pregnancy can lead to microcephaly and severe brain defects on the fetus (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).
Where can I get Zika?
Zika has NOT been found in the United States. Currently, the only cases of Zika are the result of a person traveling out of the country to an area known to have infected mosquitos OR from sexual contact with a partner who has Zika. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, avoid traveling to areas with Zika if possible. Click here to find areas with Zika.
What pregnant women need to know.
For a complete guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what pregnant women need to know about Zika, click here.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Zika virus. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html