Zika Virus Video Q&A

With Amy Roth - Clinical Manager at Academy Women's Healthcare Associates

What is the Zika Virus?

Zika Virus is a viral infection, primarily transmitted by Mosquito bites. Women can also be infected by unprotected male sexual partners who may have the infection.

Are there any Mosquito borne cases here in Colorado?

No, there are currently no infections from mosquito’s in Colorado.

What are the health effects of Zika Virus?

The main concern right now for individuals affected with Zika Virus is that they may pass the virus to their fetus.

Effects on the fetus have been found to include; microcephaly and severe fetal brain defects.

Not all women who are infected will pass virus to their fetus.

Based on current evidence the CDC does not think Zika virus infection in women who are not pregnant would pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies after the virus has cleared from her blood.

Where is the outbreak occurring?

Most mosquito acquired infections are occurring in subtropical regions like South America and Central America along with some US virgin islands.

Should I be concerned about travel to areas where outbreaks are occurring?

Academy Womens Healthcare Associates does recommend that pregnant women or women attempting conception limit travel to areas where active outbreaks are occurring.

If patient must travel to areas, we do recommend that they protect themselves from mosquito bites this includes:

  • Wearing protective clothing, long sleeved shirts and pants
  • Apply EPA registered mosquito repellents
  • Use mosquito nets at night while sleeping if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available

What if my male sexual partner has traveled recently to one of these area’s?

We recommend that all pregnant women have their partners use a condom every time with sexual intercourse or abstain during length of pregnancy.

If you are considering attempting conception, we recommend you and your partner wait at least 8 weeks from travel to attempt.

If male partner was symptomatic we recommend 6 months to wait to attempt conception.

Is there currently an available vaccine?

Unfortunately, there is no current vaccine, prevention is key

What are some the signs and symptoms of infection?

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis

4 out of 5 people infected however, will have no signs or symptoms.

Generally, illness lasts for several days to a week.

Does Academy Women’s offer testing if I am concerned about exposure?

Yes, Academy Women’s does offer testing to men and women who meet the current CDC recommended guidelines.

We encourage anyone who is currently pregnant or attempting conception with Zika virus exposure concerns to schedule an appointment with practitioner to discuss.

If concern is for your male partner, please bring them to appointment with you.

Who performs testing and how much does it cost?

Currently the CDC is performing all serum blood screens for Zika Virus.

Patients who meet criteria for testing will be referred to El Paso County Health department.

There is $50 processing and handling fee that will be collected by AWHA at the time patient is referred for testing and given order form to take to El Paso County Health Department.