Zika in pregnancy

If the woman contracts this virus she risks her unborn child contracting the virus through her body and Zika has been causing some serious birth defects including microcephaly in infants born from mothers who have contracted the Zika virus.


What is Zika and why is it a concern during pregnancy?

Zika is a virus that is spread primarily by certain kinds of mosquitoes. The virus can cause birth defects, such as microcephaly, in babies whose mothers were infected during pregnancy.

Fortunately, though the news often sounds scary, Zika is not being spread by mosquitoes in most parts of the United States, so the risk of getting the virus is extremely low.


Does Zika cause microcephaly or other birth defects?

It can. While most babies born to pregnant women who get Zika appear to be healthy, some are born with microcephaly or other health problems and some may develop problems later.

Microcephaly is a serious birth defect in which the brain doesn’t develop properly. Depending on the severity of the condition, microcephaly can lead to a number of problems, such as seizures and delayed development.

Some babies infected with Zika before birth have been found to have other birth defects such as missing brain structures, vision and hearing defects, or poor growth.

Experts don’t know how likely your baby is to have birth defects if you get Zika during pregnancy. They also don’t know whether you’re at higher risk if you get infected during a particular trimester.


How do you catch Zika?

Here’s how people can become infected with Zika:

  • Through a bite from certain mosquitoes. There are two types of mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus. If you live in or travel to a place where these mosquitoes live (primarily in the tropics and subtropics), you can get Zika if you’re bitten by one. This is how most people get Zika. Check the CDC’s map of countries where people are getting Zika from mosquitoes.
  • Through sex. Men and women with Zika can transmit it to their sexual partners. Learn how to protect yourself from Zika during sex.
  • When it’s passed from mother to child. Pregnant women with Zika can transmit the virus to their unborn babies. So far, there are no reports of babies getting Zika through breastfeeding.
  • Through a blood transfusion. No one has become infected with Zika through a blood transfusion in the United States. But because it’s a risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration


Read more: http://www.babycenter.com/0_zika-in-pregnancy_10412622.bc

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