12/14/2016 – Texas Department of State Health Services recommends all pregnant Brownsville residents and those who travel there be tested for Zika. Read the news release.
Zika virus can cause fever, rash, muscle and joint aches and red eyes. It has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly, a condition where a baby's head is much smaller than expected and can cause developmental delays. The virus is also known to cause other poor birth outcomes in some women infected during their pregnancy. Follow these important steps to protect yourself and your child from Zika.
Simple Steps to Prevent Zika During Pregnancy:
- Apply EPA-approved insect repellent. When used as directed, these insect repellents – including those that contain DEET – are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Wear pants and long-sleeve shirts.
- Use screens or close windows and doors. Remove standing water in and around your home.
- Cover trash cans or containers where water can collect.
- Avoid travel to regions where the Zika virus is active.
- Call your doctor if you have concerns.
- Protect yourself from sexual transmission.
The CDC also recommends these guidelines to prevent sexual transmission:
- Pregnant women and their male sex partners should discuss the male partner's potential exposures and history of Zika-like illness with the pregnant woman's health care provider.
- Men with a pregnant sex partner who reside in or have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission and their pregnant sex partners should consistently and correctly use condoms during sex or abstain from sexual activity for the duration of the pregnancy.
- Couples in which a man resides in or has traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who are concerned about sexual transmission of Zika virus may consider using condoms consistently and correctly during sex or abstaining from sexual activity.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika virus infection risk. To prevent the spread of the disease, people traveling to those areas should carefully follow steps to avoid mosquito bites while there and for 21 days after returning home.
Visit the Transmission and Prevention pages to learn more.
More information for pregnant women is also on the CDC website.