The Zika virus is a disease spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito known to transmit viruses that cause dengue fever. This mosquito is common in the tropics and bites during the day. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms can last several days to a week and are often mild where people are not sick enough to be hospitalized and rarely die from the Zika virus. The most recent public health concerns have been due to the "possible" association between Zika and birth defects (such as microcephaly-neurological condition of which an infant's head is significantly smaller than normal) and Guillain-Barre syndrome (a disorder of the body's immune system that attacks part of the peripheral nervous system).
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Photo Credit: Cynthia Goldsmith
When a woman who is pregnant becomes infected with the Zika virus, it can be spread from the mother to the fetus (baby) during pregnancy. Until scientific evidence is confirmed of the association between the Zika virus and birth defects, as a precautionary approach the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC) has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in an effort to respond to Zika outbreaks. In addition the World Health Organization (WHO) on February 1, 2016, declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) due to clusters of microcephaly and other neurological disorders found in some areas affected by Zika. This effort is a public benefit to: 1). alert the public and healthcare providers about Zika risks, 2). provide travel notices and guidance, 3). provide public health laboratories with diagnostic tests, and 4) Identify and report cases to prevent the spread of disease.

The following video and infographics provide women who are pregnant and travelers with prevention tips regarding Zika, provided by the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 


Countries and Territories in the Americas with Active Zika Virus Transmission
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
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Photo Credit: James Gathany
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CDC

Pregnancy & Zika Virus Prevention

zika-pregnancy_engl.pdf
File Size: 723 kb
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zika-pregnancy-sp.pdf
File Size: 718 kb
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Pregnancy & Travel

zikapregnancyinfographic_engl.pdf
File Size: 3915 kb
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zikapregnancyinfogr-span.pdf
File Size: 7772 kb
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For more information on Zika, pregnancy and travel visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
 
Wearing a vehicle seat belt "properly" during pregnancy will help to keep the mother and baby safe in the event of a motor vehicle collision. The leading cause of hospitalized injury and injury-related death among women who are pregnant in the U.S. is motor vehicle crashes.  Wearing a seat belt “properly” during pregnancy can significantly reduce both maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality a following motor vehicle collision. (1)

The American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend to women who are pregnant to always wear seat belts “properly” while riding in a motor vehicle.  Pregnant women who wear a seat belt “properly”, in the event of a crash, have lower rates of personal injury and fetal death, compared to women who were not buckled up properly during a crash. (2)

Select the image to the right to see how to "properly" wear a seat belt while pregnant as well as guidelines to follow if a motor vehicle collision occurs during pregnancy.
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1. Am J Lifestyle Med, 2012, 6(3): 241-249.
2. Hyde LK, et al. (2003). Effect of motor vehicle crashes on adverse fetal outcomes. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 102(2): 279–286).