Do pregnant women need to take extra safety measures?

Yes, pregnant women need to take extra precautions. Because of the connection between Zika and microceophaly (a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected compared with babies of the same sex and age), there are special concerns about Zika and pregnant women.

Pregnant women are at risk for Zika infection mainly through bites from an infected mosquito, but there is also risk from sexual contact with an infected male partner. During pregnancy, Zika can also be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby during pregnancy or at delivery.

Currently, CDC is advising pregnant women not to travel to areas with Zika infection.

CDC is also advising pregnant women not to have sex with their male partner if he has recently traveled to areas with Zika infection. If a pregnant woman does have sex with her male partner who recently traveled to an area with Zika infection, CDC strongly advises that they use condoms correctly when they engage in sex.

There is still a lot that we still don’t know about the risks of Zika infection in pregnant women. We do not know how likely it is the virus will affect a pregnancy. We do not know how likely it is the baby of an infected pregnant woman will have birth defects. As always, we strongly encourage them to keep their unborn babies safe. Currently CDC recommends that if you are pregnant, you should delay travel to areas where there are Zika infections. If you need to travel to those areas, speak to your healthcare provider first. (For the latest recommendations, go to CDC Zika Travel Information)