Ask Sofia: Do I Need to be Monitored for the Zika Virus?
As Zika continues to spread across the globe and in the United States, Clinic Sofia closely monitors each patient and follows the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We remain steadfastly dedicated to ensuring all of our patients get the support and information they need to understand the current situation as well as any potential risks to themselves and their unborn babies.
If you have traveled to an area of known Zika infection, please let your doctor know. Likewise, we also check in with patients to determine if their sexual partner has been traveling and if either show any symptoms, such as fever, muscle pain, red eyes and severe headaches. However, only about one in five people infected with the Zika virus become ill, which is why monitoring this on an individual basis is so important.
“As a provider of OBGYN services to pregnant women and women hoping to become pregnant, we know that Zika is a top concern,” said Dr. Donna Block, founder of Clinic Sofia. “We strongly encourage women to be very open about their concerns and to discuss any travel, changes in medical history or other issues with their doctor or nurse.”
Clinic Sofia continues to share Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates as they are available, including the following updates from the CDC:
- Pregnant women or women who are trying to become pregnant should avoid areas where Zika virus transmission is occurring. For the latest list of affected areas, click here.
- Pregnant women who have traveled to an area with Zika virus should talk to their healthcare provider to determine if they should be tested for the virus—particularly if they develop a rash, joint pain or red eyes within two weeks after traveling.
- Women who have recently traveled to affected areas and are contemplating pregnancy should also consult with their doctor.
- If travel to affected areas is not avoidable, women should practice good preventative measures, including wearing long sleeves and pants and using approved insect repellents. More information can be found on the CDC website. It’s also important to note that, unlike Minnesota mosquitoes, which bite at dusk or in the evening, this particular type of mosquito bites during the day so people may want to stay indoors during daylight hours.
- Zika virus can be transmitted sexually; therefore, women should take precautions if their sexual partner has traveled or lived in an area with Zika. The CDC advises pregnant women with a male partner who has been exposed to Zika either abstain from sex or use condoms during the duration of the pregnancy.