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Information About Zika

Zika Prevention & Safety in Atlanta

If you are thinking about having a baby or currently trying to conceive, the fertility specialists at Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine (ACRM) can help you plan for a healthy and safe pregnancy. With the outbreak of the Zika virus, planning your pregnancy is more important than ever. It is critical to know Zika symptoms, how to prevent the spread of the virus, and how this outbreak affects those trying to conceive.

Zika Symptoms & Risks

What Is the Zika Virus?

Zika is a virus that is carried by the Aedes mosquito. These mosquitoes are mostly daytime mosquitoes, but they can also bite at night. The Aedes mosquito also carries Dengue virus and Chikungunya virus. Zika was first discovered in Uganda in 1947. It was mostly localized to Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands prior to 2015.

What Are the Symptoms of a Zika Infection?

Zika infections are usually asymptomatic, meaning that the person does not know they're infected. Symptoms usually resemble a fever or cold and last a few days to one week. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Red eyes

What Are the Risks of a Zika Virus Infection?

Non-pregnant, healthy adults will usually recover and become immune. Rarely, adults may develop Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a severe condition involving paralysis. Children, elderly and individuals with poor health may have more severe effects.

Pregnant women can pass the infection to their fetus and the risks to the fetus include miscarriage, microcephaly (small head), growth problems and other birth defects related to the eyes, hearing and brain.

Zika & Pregnancy – What You Should Know

What if I Have to Travel to a Zika-Affected Area?

Individuals who plan on conceiving should consider freezing eggs, sperm and/or embryos prior to travel.

After an exposure, women should wait 8 weeks to conceive. Men are advised to wait up to 6 months to conceive.

What if My Partner Has Traveled to a Zika-Affected Area?

After an exposure, women should wait 8 weeks to conceive. Men are advised to wait up to 6 months to conceive.

Pregnant women should avoid intercourse or use barrier protection (condoms) for the duration of their pregnancy if they have a male sexual partner who has traveled to a Zika-affected area.

What if I Don’t Plan to Conceive Now?

Individuals who plan on conceiving in the future should consider egg or sperm freezing.

At ACRM, we do everything we can so patients may achieve their ultimate goal – a healthy baby. If you have any questions about trying to conceive and the Zika virus outbreak, please contact us. We’re happy to help!