The story of the Zika Virus is changing rapidly: In early February, Florida’s Governor declared a public health emergency in four counties, including Hillsborough, because several people (not pregnant) were diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus. This simply means that those counties are now required to spray for mosquitoes, and that they must report any new cases to the state health department in order to help prevent it from becoming a more serious health threat. See the Florida Health Department’s website for a list of ways to help avoid contact with mosquitoes.
In most cases,the Zika Virus produces symptoms similar to a mild flu, but if a pregnant woman becomes infected with the virus, it may adversely affect her baby. So if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, here are five important actions you can take to help avoid being exposed to mosquitoes:
- Remove standing water from around your house, such a potted plant or an empty container.
- Stay away from natural areas that are wet and damp and known to harbor mosquitoes.
- Avoid traveling to the areas that the Centers for Disease Control says have active transmissions of the virus.
- Avoid having sexual relations with anyone who has traveled to any of these areas as there are several cases where the virus was transmitted sexually.
- Use an effective mosquito repellent. The most effective repellents contain a product called DEET. You can read about the safety of DEET in pregnancy right here.
We know this is concerning for you. The chances that anything is going to happen to you or your baby are slim. But please do not hesitate to call us at 727-216-1420 if you have a specific concern or question about your pregnancy or travel plans. We are always here for you!