Are Pregnant Women Aware of Zika Risks?

Puerto Rico reported 7 Zika virus cases during 2020

pregnant lady on beach in Puerto rico

A new study highlights interactions between pregnant women and their healthcare providers were very positive.

This study was published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on April 16, 2020, and was conducted during the height of the 2016 Zika outbreak.

These researchers found there was a high awareness (91%) about the risk of Zika virus infection during pregnancy and about travel advisories to avoid visiting affected areas.

In the adjusted analysis, women younger than 24 years old were more likely not to have heard of Zika compared with women older than 35 years old.

And, Hispanic women were more likely to have heard of Zika. 

Women with a high school education or less, women whose deliveries were paid for by Medicaid, and those who were uninsured at delivery were less likely to have heard of Zika, compared with their counterparts with more than a high school education and private health insurance.

Unfortunately, there were only moderate levels of Zika prevention discussions with healthcare providers.

These differences suggest the opportunity to promote patient advocacy so that patients of all backgrounds feel comfortable asking about key topics if they are not raised by the provider, especially in the case of public health threats.

This assessment is not without limitations. The data represent only women who recently gave birth to live infants in the 17 sites were included in this analysis.

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The CDC continues to say ‘If you are pregnant, you should NOT travel to areas with Zika outbreaks.’

And, ‘if you or your partner are trying to get pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about your travel plans.’

The CDC says a Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects and is associated with other pregnancy problems.

Very rarely, Zika may cause severe disease affecting the brain, causing swelling of the brain or spinal cord or a blood disorder which can result in bleeding, bruising or slow blood clotting.

The CDC’s provisional Data as of April 2, 2020, indicates there have NOT been any Zika virus cases confirmed in the 50 US states during 2020. 

However, there are 7 cases acquired through presumed local mosquito-borne transmission in Puerto Rico.

As of April 18, 2020, the CDC does not recommend any vaccine to prevent the Zika virus disease.

Zika virus updates published by Zika News.