In May 2015 the Pan-American Health Organization issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika Virus infection in Brazil. The outbreak in Brazil lead to reports of Guillian-Barre Syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes. Over the past year the Zika virus has spread into Venezuela, Columbia across Panama throughout Central America and Mexico and into Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Martinique. Travel bans and warnings have been issued by the CDC to affected areas especially to pregnant women and those attempting pregnancy. The Zika Virus is spread though infected mosquito bites and about 1 in 5 people infected with the virus become ill with fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. These symptoms may last a few days to a week. Zika Virus is also transmitted form Mother to baby during pregnancy and can cause birth defects. Women who are pregnant or who are attempting pregnancy should not travel to affected areas and if they must then mosquito bite precautions are strongly recommended. This includes the use of insecticides containing DEET which when used as recommended does not appear to cause harmful effects during pregnancy.
ASRM Statement on Zika Virus, click here.