Pregnant women can be infected with Zika virus in any trimester. No evidence exists to suggest that pregnant women are more susceptible to Zika virus infection or experience more severe disease during pregnancy versus non-pregnant women.
Transmission of Zika virus from the pregnant mother to her fetus has been documented. Zika virus genetic material has been detected in breast milk, but Zika virus transmission through breastfeeding has not been documented.
Zika virus infections have been confirmed in infants with microcephaly, which is a rare neurological condition in which an infant's head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children of the same age and sex. Microcephaly usually is the result of the brain developing abnormally in the womb or not growing as it should after birth. It can be caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. Children with microcephaly often have developmental issues.
In the current outbreak in Brazil, a marked increase in the number of infants born with microcephaly has been reported, but it is NOT KNOWN how many of the microcephaly cases are associated with Zika virus infection. Studies are under way to investigate if there is an association with the Zika virus infection and microcephaly.
Because there is neither a vaccine nor prophylactic medications available to prevent Zika virus infection, CDC recommends that all pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. There is no specific antiviral treatment available for Zika virus disease. Treatment is generally supportive and can include rest, fluids, and use of pain relievers and fever-reducers. Fever should be treated with acetaminophen (Tylenol). NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) should be avoided.
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