Zika in Pregnancy (Signs, Prevention, Home Remedy)
Zika is a kind of infection caused by mosquitoes in certain areas, and it can pass from person to person. The bad news about Zika is that there is no medication or vaccine to treat it; therefore, if you are pregnant, you should do your best to prevent Zika in pregnancy. Unfortunately, this virus can damage the baby’s developing brain and cause congenital disabilities such as microcephaly.
In this article on Hipregnancy, we will cover all the important information you need to know about Zika in pregnancy guidelines. Please read this article until the end to protect yourself while pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby.
Also Read: pre pregnancy test
What is Zika Virus?
The Zika virus is an insect-borne illness. A common query about Zika is: “Where is Zika virus found?” Zika is found in North and South America, Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. It is good to know that this virus was first found in the monkeys of the Zika forest in England in 1947.
Usually, the symptoms of this virus are mild or not present, but it has dangerous side effects on pregnant women or who want to get pregnant. Zika in pregnancy can cause pregnancy loss or a baby born with microcephaly_ a condition in which a baby is born with an abnormally small brain and head.
According to studies, vision problems, hearing loss, and impaired growth in babies are also possible. You should be very careful because this virus has no vaccine or treatment.
So, can you travel to Zika countries when pregnant? The best way to prevent health issues caused by this virus is not to put yourself at the risk of it and don’t travel to Zika-affected areas. Take this infection seriously, as Zika and pregnancy are not good partners.
Also Read: restless leg syndrome early pregnancy
How is Zika Transmitted?
Zika can be transmitted in different ways. Do you want to know them? Keep reading the following part, including how the Zika virus is transmitted;
1- From an infected mosquito to a person
Mosquitos can be infected by biting and drawing blood from an infected person. Then, they go on to bite other people and spread the Zika virus.
2- From man to woman during sexual contact
In addition, it can be transmitted sexually, through vaginal, oral, or anal sex, or even sharing sex toys. Usually, it is transmitted from man to woman, but recently the apposite case has been reported.
3- From mother to a baby
Also, the Zika virus can be transmitted from mother to unborn baby during pregnancy, which leads to health issues in the baby, like abnormal brain and head.
Also Read: dizziness during pregnancy
Signs of Zika in Pregnancy
Researchers found that approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with the Zika virus have no signs and symptoms or don’t get sick. It means they get sick, but their illness is mild and doesn’t have harmful side effects.
Doctors use blood or urine tests to determine whether you have Zika virus. Also, there are common sypmtoms that show you get infected with Zika in pregnancy. These symptoms often begin 2-7 days after the virus explosion. The followings are the common signs of this illness among infected people;
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Pink eye
Unfortunately, there is no medical treatment for Zika during pregnancy. But don’t worry! Just rest and drink plenty of fluids, especially water. In addition, you can take acetaminophen to ease your pain and feels better. These are the only things you can do to eliminate this virus. Wish scientists make the Zika virus vaccine one day!
Also Read: books to read before getting pregnant
How long after Zika can I get pregnant?
Generally speaking, couples living in or traveling to Zika-affected areas should consult their doctor or healthcare provider and get tested for this virus before conception. This test ensures you aren’t infected with this virus and are ready to get pregnant.
According to CDS, ladies with signs of Zika should wait at least 2 months before trying for a baby; this is the same for those who don’t have any symptoms but were exposed to Zika virus.
Furthermore, if you are not sick, but your partner has signs of Zika, has been exposed to this virus and doesn’t show any symptoms, you should wait at least 3 months to get pregnant.
If you think you might get infected with Zika before pregnancy, you should make an appointment with your doctor to get a test to have healthy pregnancy, and give birth to a normal baby.
How to prevent Zika while pregnant?
As there is no Zika vaccine in pregnancy, you should follow some general guidelines to protect yourself from this virus until scientists develop a vaccine. Here are some useful tips that can help prevent Zika in pregnancy;
- Do your best not to travel to Zika-affected areas. If you have to, consult your doctor before you travel there.
- Prevent mosquito bites to protect yourself. For this, you can use an insect repellant, such as bug lotion or spray to keep insects from biting and infecting you. Also, you can wear a long-sleeved shirt, hat, long pants, and socks, stay in places with air conditioning, and remove any still water from inside or outside the room.
- Those who work in a laboratory, hospital, or doctor’s office should wear a grown a mask, gloves, and goggles as well, and don’t have direct contact with Zika-infected lab samples. Whenever they have direct contact, they should clean their hand with a hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol. If there is no hand sanitizer around them, they can use soap and water to wash their hands.
- If you want to protect yourself from Zika while pregnant, you should not have sexual contact with a partner have Zika or may have it. If you want to have sex, you should use condoms every time.
Zika testing in pregnancy
The recommendation of testing for Zika can be different based on where you live, but generally, Zika virus testing is not recommended for all pregnant women.
Only your doctor can tell whether you need to be tested or not. Your doctor may test your urine or blood for the Zika virus. In addition, they may use ultrasound, a prenatal test using computer screen and sound wave to check the baby’s health inside the womb.
Here is a general recommendation that shows who needs to get tested for Zika in pregnancy;
- Those who have symptoms of the Zika virus or may have been exposed to it in the last 2 months before conception or during pregnancy.
- Those ladies with a history of stillbirth or miscarriages and recently have been exposed to this virus.
- Or those who had unprotected sex with a Zika-infected partner.
How is Zika treated in pregnancy?
Since there is not a good relationship between Zika and pregnancy, Ladies with Zika infection in pregnancy should see a maternal-fetal medicine specialist to get better results and control this disease. This specialist is educated and trained to care for ladies with high-risk pregnancies.
In addition, they can visit an infectious disease specialist, trained to diagnose and treat infections. These specialists can be good doctors to care for you during pregnancy and help you decrease the side effects of Zika in pregnancy.
Zika is a kind of virus that can have a harmful impact on pregnant ladies or those who want to get pregnant. If you are considering having a baby, you should do your best not to get infected with Zika in pregnancy.
Although this virus infection doesn’t have any special medicines or vaccines, you need to consult your doctor whenever you have Zika symptoms or may get infected.
Do you have much more information about Zika and pregnancy? Or do you know any other way to prevent Zika while pregnant? Please comment on your points to help other new moms-to-be.