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CDC Issues Updated Guidance on Pregnant Women and Travel to Florida Area with Local Mosquito-Borne Zika Transmission

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                           

August 1, 2016

Contact:  Office of Communications (614) 644-8562

CDC Issues Updated Guidance on Pregnant Women and Travel  to Florida Area with Local Mosquito-Borne Zika Transmission


COLUMBUS – The Florida Department of Health has identified an area with local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in Miami, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday issued updated guidance regarding travel of pregnant women and women of reproductive age to the affected area.

“Based on the earliest time of potential symptom onset and a maximal two-week incubation period for Zika virus, CDC’s guidance applies to women of reproductive age and their partners who lived in or traveled to the affected area after June 15, 2016,” said Dr. Mary DiOrio, medical director for the Ohio Department of Health.

Under CDC’s updated guidance:

  • Pregnant women should not travel to the identified area (http://www.cdc.gov/zika/intheus/florida-update.html ) with active Zika virus transmission identified by Florida Department of Health. 
  • Pregnant women and their partners living in this area should consistently follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika.
  • Pregnant women who traveled to this area on or after June 15, 2016, should talk with their healthcare provider and should be tested for Zika. 
  • Pregnant women without symptoms of Zika who live in or frequently travel to this area should be tested for Zika virus infection in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy.
  • Male and female sexual partners of pregnant women who live in or who have traveled to this area should consistently and correctly use condoms or other barriers against infection during sex or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy. 
  • All pregnant women in the United States who live in or travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission, or who have sex with a partner who lives in or traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission without using condoms or other barrier methods to prevent infection should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit and tested according to CDC guidance.  
  • Women and men who traveled to this area wait at least 8 weeks before trying for a pregnancy; men with symptoms of Zika wait at least 6 months before trying for a pregnancy.
  • Women and men who live in or frequently travel to this area who do not have signs or symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease and are considering pregnancy should consider the risks associated with Zika virus infection, and may wish to consult their healthcare provider to help inform their decisions about timing of pregnancy.
  • Anyone with possible exposure to Zika virus and symptoms of Zika virus should be tested for Zika.

Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. While Zika virus also can spread through sexual transmission, there is no indication that it can spread from person to person through casual contact.

Of people infected with the Zika virus, 80 percent do not have any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they are often mild, lasting from several days to a week, and include fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), and headache. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. However, there is an association between Zika virus and certain birth defects.

State and local public health officials in Ohio have been preparing since January for Zika virus, making sure that mosquito control efforts were in place for mosquito season, and conducting a public awareness campaign to raise awareness about the virus and the importance of preventing mosquito-borne and sexual transmission of the virus.

For more information about the Zika virus including sexual transmission, go to www.odh.ohio.gov