We’ve all heard the warnings from media outlets and the CDC about the Zika virus and travel advisories, especially for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. March of Dimes is also working hard to spread the word about what we can all do to prevent the virus and keep pregnant women and babies healthy.
The Zika virus poses a real threat to women everywhere, as 44 states reported cases of the virus in pregnant women just last year. Though the CDC has said that we do not yet know all the effects of Zika, we do know that 1 in 10 babies born to mothers infected with Zika were born with birth defects.
We also know that many babies (about 1 in 3) with possible congenital Zika had no report of Zika testing at birth. This is important, because the CDC recommends specific follow-up medical care for babies affected by Zika, including a comprehensive exam, and brain imaging tests after birth.
Though the effects of Zika can be serious, the March of Dimes reminds us that there are many steps we can take to prevent infection. One important piece of advice for pregnant women is to avoid travel to Zika-affected areas. Check with current CDC travel advisories to learn about Zika hot spots. If you believe you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor before your visit and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
The March of Dimes also has a very comprehensive page filled with “top tips” to help you prevent Zika infection and avoid spreading the disease. These include using mosquito repellent spray, wearing clothing to cover skin from mosquitoes, and using condoms to reduce sexual transmission.
Click here to help spread the word about Zika prevention and Tweet: “Find out how to #ZAPzika with tips from @MarchOfDimes bit.ly/2op1o2t via @SheSpeaksUp"
Get even more involved in Zika prevention! March of Dimes will be hosting a Twitter chat on May 3 at 1pm EST about Zika prevention and travel. The hashtag is #ZAPzika and is called “Know before you go: Where in the world is Zika this vacation season?” The chat handles/participants include @MotherToBaby, @modhealthtalk, @CDCgov, @PartnersforGood, and @AmerAcadPeds.
What do you think of some of the tips to prevent the spread of Zika?
Have you had to take any precautions to avoid the infection?
This is great news to people that are unaware of things but I'm with these other lady's I carry or take bug spray with me everywhere doing the summer exp if we're playing on camping or being a water source, river or lake ext. And I've never been out of the country either but hopefully someday I will.
Trying not to take away from the importance of this, but the upcoming month of May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and I think it deserves attention as well--especially since the ticks are beginning to emerge with the warmer weather. So along with the mosquitoes, be on the lookout for ticks everyone! Eek.
Its so important to take necessary precautions, especially when pregnant. I often tried to cover with clothes and use safe bug repellent!
I am having my wedding in Mexico this year and Zika is definitely something I have to think about. I've been so busy planning it's been out of my mind. I need to check with all my pregnant friend to see how they are feeling about making the journey.
I had forgotten about Zika over the winter. Thanks for the reminder now that we are coming into spring again.
I'm headed to Puerto Rico for a wedding this spring & we've been talking so much about Zika - thanks for this list of tips. I'm getting my bug spray ready.
I pack bug spray all the time, there's so many mosquitos~~
I have child safe bug spray in our car for us and our daughter and my husband and I are currently using condoms. It's getting wayy too hot to cover up completely, though, so we'll make sure that the bug spray is applied on the regular!
I have packed bug spray for everything I go to. I am deathly afraid of mosquitoes and I'm not looking to get pregnant, yet. I don't want to absorb the virus in any way shape or form as I don't know how it goes into dormancy.