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When you’ve previously lost a baby, it is understandable that you would take extra precautions during your next pregnancy. Being a little scared and nervous is just part of the package when you are brave enough to try again. So it isn’t a surprise that the news of the Zika virus is causing a lot of concern. The Zika virus is not new. There are reports in the literature going back to the 1950s. What is new is that the virus has spread to South America, notably Brazil, where it didn’t exist before. Doctors there for the first time have also linked it to a condition called microcephaly. Microcephaly literally means small (micro) head (cephalus). Because of this change news about this virus is everywhere, so here is a list of reputable sources for information and what questions you might want to ask your doctor.

In addition to these resources, check with your local public health agency. They will have the best information on transmission in your area. As of writing this, the outbreak is limited to South and Central America, and the Caribbean. There are no known cases in the continental United States, and only one in Mexico. However, this information changes rapidly. A local public health agency will know about local cases, if the same type of mosquito (the Aedes mosquito) that transmits the virus is found in your area and other important information that might pertain to you.

The Zika virus is only transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which is the same breed of mosquito that transmits dengue fever. There are some places that have eliminated dengue but not the mosquito that carries it. If you live in a part of the world that does not have the Aedes mosquito, and you do not travel to a part of the world that has the Aedes mosquito you do not need to be concerned. Also, at this time, there is no link between Zika and pregnancy loss (either stillbirth or miscarriage).

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control has a continually updated page on the virus, with information for pregnant woman or others seeking to become pregnant:

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/index.html

The CDC is currently recommending that women who are pregnant or intend to become pregnant not travel to areas where Zika virus has been found. Other countries have issued similar warnings.

The Pan American Health Organization is the branch of the World Health Organization for North, Central and South America. Their web page is also being continually updated:

http://www.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11602&Itemid=41695&lang=en

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