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Zika Virus and Ways to Protect Against It

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According to guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following is current information about pregnancy and Zika virus prevention.

For Pregnant Women  

  • It is recommended that pregnant women do not travel to areas where Zika is actively spreading.
  • If you are pregnant and you have a male partner who lives or has traveled to an area with Zika, you should always use a condom during sex or abstain from sex for your entire pregnancy.
  • You should protect yourself from mosquito bites:
    • Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs.
    • Use air conditioning when available. When windows and doors are open, make sure they have tight-fitting screens with no holes.
    • Avoid areas that breed mosquitoes like standing water. Regularly empty items that may collect water like pots, trash cans, etc.
    • Use insect repellent that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Insect Repellent Tips 

  • Always follow the instructions when applying insect repellent.
  • Read labels carefully for ingredients and concentrations.
  • According to recent testing conducted by Consumer Reports, repellents with the active ingredients DEET, picaridin, and oil of lemon eucalyptus performed the best against mosquitoes that transfer Zika.
    • Top overall was a product with 20 percent picaridin.
    • DEET was found most effective in concentrations of 15-30 percent.
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus was the only natural option that performed well.

*** Remember to always use insect repellents that are registered with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Click here for registered repellents.

For Women Who Are Not Pregnant

The CDC believes that if a woman is not pregnant and becomes infected with the Zika virus, once the virus clears from her blood, it does not pose a threat to future pregnancies.

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More About Zika Virus

CHKD has up-to-date Zika Virus information, with the latest statistics and an overview of the virus from the CDC.

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