CDC announced today that the Zika virus causes microcephaly
“This study marks a turning point in the Zika outbreak. It is now clear that the virus causes microcephaly. We are also launching further studies to determine whether children who have microcephaly born to mothers infected by the Zika virus is the tip of the iceberg of what we could see in damaging effects on the brain and other developmental problems,” said Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC. “We’ve now confirmed what mounting evidence has suggested, affirming our early guidance to pregnant women and their partners to take steps to avoid Zika infection and to health care professionals who are talking to patients every day. We are working to do everything possible to protect the American public.”
CDC also announced that “At this time, CDC is not changing its current guidance as a result of this finding. Pregnant women should continue to avoid travel to areas where Zika is actively spreading. If a pregnant woman travels to or lives in an area with active Zika virus transmission, she should talk with her healthcare provider and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and to prevent sexual transmission of Zika virus. We also continue to encourage women and their partners in areas with active Zika transmission to engage in pregnancy planning and counseling with their health care providers so that they know the risks and the ways to mitigate them.”
• Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
• At this time, there is no evidence that women can transmit the virus to their sex partners.
• Males who have traveled to or live in Zika areas may be infected and represent a sexual risk.
• At this time, you are not at risk of being infected by the virus if you travel to or live in an area without Zika transmission.
• If you are concerned about becoming infected by your partner, use a condom or do not have sex.
• If you think that you may have become infected by the Zika virus, contact your healthcare provider.
While this information is constantly changing and being updated, there are two public health generalities that can help you avoid not only becoming infected by the Zika virus but also by other mosquito borne diseases and STDs.
1. Take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
2. Unless you know your partner is disease-free, use a condom or do not have sex.