The Zika Virus: The Facts We Need to Know

The Zika Virus: The Facts We Need to Know | Baby Chick

The Zika Virus: The Facts We Need to Know

The Zika Virus has not been as big of a concern since the first big outbreak in 2016. However, with humid weather and rain more prevalent in the warmer months, mosquitoes that carry Zika will continue to be a risk. For pregnant women, this is a real concern because of the likely link between the Zika virus and babies born with microcephaly. While the threat of Zika is not great at this point in time, it is always good to be informed about the virus and how people, especially pregnant women, can protect themselves.

What is the Zika Virus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Zika is a virus spread primarily to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Illness is usually mild, with symptoms only lasting a few days to a week after being bitten. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they rarely die. Most don’t even realize they’ve been infected. Luckily, once infected, you’re unlikely to become infected again.

The Zika virus was first discovered in 1947, and was named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. In May 2015, The Pan American Health Organization issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern.

Infographic by CDC.gov

Quick Facts About Zika

  • You can prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites. Check out Consumer Reports favorite repellents for fighting Zika here.
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika bite mostly during the daytime.
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika also spread dengue and Chikungunya viruses.
  • You can prevent sexual transmission of Zika by using a condom or abstaining.
  • When traveling to a country where Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes, make sure you are properly prepared, and take all necessary precautions.
  • There is no vaccine or medicine to treat the virus. If you think you are ill, consult a physician who can help you treat the symptoms.
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The Zika Virus and Pregnancy

Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and has been linked to a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly. The CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women, and suggests pregnant women should consider delaying travel to areas with Zika.

In 2015 and 2016, the Americas experienced a serious outbreak of Zika. There was also an increase in the number of infants born with microcephaly. Although there is increasing evidence of a link between Zika and microcephaly, the CDC points out that we do not know if these babies’ microcephaly is a result of their mothers’ Zika virus infection during pregnancy because microcephaly can also be caused by other factors.

Here’s What We (Still) Don’t Know

  • How likely is a pregnant woman to contract Zika if exposed to an infected mosquito?
  • How will the virus affect her pregnancy if a pregnant woman is infected? We don’t know how likely it is (or is not) that Zika will pass to her fetus.
  • Will the fetus develop birth defects after being infected with the virus? We’re not sure when in pregnancy the infection might cause harm to the fetus.
  • We don’t know if sexual transmission of Zika virus poses a different risk of birth defects than mosquito-borne transmission.

The CDC says that based on the available evidence, “we think that Zika virus infection in a woman who is not pregnant would not pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies, after the virus has cleared from her blood.”

Well, here’s hoping!

Knowing this information is especially important when experts predict a warmer than average summer. They say this could enable the mosquitoes to thrive through more of the south and the east United States. It could also push temperatures in the hottest parts of Texas, Arizona, and California higher than optimal for mosquitoes. Conditions are most prevalent in July, August, and September. So basically what we’re saying here is that you might want to keep a bottle of Off Deep Woods handy at all times during the summer. That’s not too difficult, right?

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Although the threat of Zika is nowhere near where it was back in 2016, we want to share this information to make sure that pregnant mamas stay informed. Wear your bug spray. Don’t travel to countries with high numbers of Zika cases while pregnant. Stay up-to-date (we can help with that), and as we always say — better to err on the side of over-precaution. Stay safe, Mommy Chicks!

About the Author /

Wife, mommy to three precious little girls, currently pregnant with baby a boy, and owner of The Plaid Pony.

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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
(quote by @debiandbebi)⁠
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#postpartum #mentalhealth #ppd #motherhood #selfcare #kindnessmatters #postpartumprogress #postpartumlife #newmom #newmotherhood #mommychick #babychick #depression #mentalhealthmatters
Instagram post 17863413055589017 When they wake up in the morning and give you that big grin . . . 😍 There is nothing sweeter.⁠
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Instagram post 17848203934772065 Her comes Amazon, here comes Amazon, right down my driveway! 🎶📦🤣⁠
📷: @cmon.mama⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #selfcare #selfcaretoolbox #mumlife #mommylife #metime #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17974795027288980 Was he dreaming he was riding a bike last night escaping from wild animals?! OUCH! 🤕🚲⁠
📷: @themommyconfessions⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17866776847554303 Above all else, let us teach them to be kind. 💗⁠
(quote: @mommywinetime)⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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#babyannouncement #pregnancyannouncement #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick #babyonboard #mumtobe
Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
📷: @juna.moms⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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#placenta #lotusbirth #homebirth #midwife #midwifery #phsiologicThirdStage #delayedcordclamping #optimalcordclamping #waitforwhite #whatstherush #postpartum #birth #laboranddelivery #babychick #mommychick
Instagram post 17866964371538725 Stacks on stacks . . . of diapers. 😂 Can you relate?⁠
📷: @krayons.n.tequila⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
📷: unknown (DM for credit)
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
📷: @madiford2 via Twitter⁠
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Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
📷: @emilyshapaka⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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Instagram post 17867282176536875 ⁠For the week of Thanksgiving (and longer if you can!) let's focus on what we DO have instead of what we lack. The more we express gratitude and appreciate our blessings the more we recognize all of our blessings and everything we should be thankful for. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #gratitude #thankful #mumlife #mommylife #mommychick #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #thanksgiving #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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📷: Martiza Elizabeth on FB
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