Since our March 2016 Blog, Zika virus infection has spread into most of the US states, and the CDC has issued new recommendations for men and women contemplating becoming pregnant if they have traveled to Zika virus-affected areas.
As of June 2016, with the exception of AK, ID, WY, ND, and SD, all of the US states have reported cases of Zika virus infections. There were 2,196 incidents of Zika virus disease reported in the US and its territories. All Zika infections within the US states were travel-associated; none were locally acquired mosquito-borne.
There were 234 pregnant women with a laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection in the US states and the District of Columbia, and 189 cases in the US territories.
Not all pregnant women infected with Zika will pass the virus to their fetus, or have babies with microcephaly. Some will miscarry, and some will have totally healthy newborns. The risk of fetal anomalies is greatest when the mother is infected in the first trimester, but there have also been reports of miscarriages and birth defects when the mother was infected relatively late in pregnancy.
As of June, in the US states and the District of Columbia, three infants have been born with microcephaly, calcium deposits in the brain indicating possible brain damage, excess fluid in the brain cavities, absent or poorly formed brain structures, and abnormal eye development. Three other pregnancies resulted in miscarriage, stillbirth, and termination with evidence of these birth defects.
Mosquito bites are the primary way of getting Zika virus infections, but Zika virus can also be spread by a male to his female sex partner. Women considering getting pregnant should avoid traveling to any area where Zika virus is spreading. Men who visited Zika virus areas should use condoms to prevent the spread of Zika.
At Bay IVF, we follow the current CDC recommendations:
We strongly discourage our patients from traveling to Zika virus-affected areas.
If you or your partner have visited a Zika virus-affected area, we will delay your reproductive treatment by at least 2 months after your return even if you did not develop Zika infection symptoms (fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis).
We will delay your treatment by at least 6 months if either partner developed Zika virus infection symptoms during your travel and up to two weeks afterwards.
Egg donors will be considered ineligible if they have any of the following risk factors:
Medical diagnosis of Zika virus infection in the past 6 months.
Residence in, or travel to, a Zika virus-affected area within the past 6 months.
Sex within the past 6 months with a male who is known to have either of the risk factors listed in items a or b above.