Life

Zika and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know (VIDEO)

Update Friday, August 19, 2016:
Florida Governor Rick Scott has just confirmed 5 new locally-transmitted cases of Zika in Miami Beach. Authorities are concentrating on a new 1.5-square-mile Zika zone in an area bordered by 8th and 28th Streets and from the beach to the intracoastal waterway. Residents and visitors to the area are advised to follow the precautions outlined below.

As concerns about the Zika virus and its effects on pregnancy and childbirth continue to grow, Baptist Health South Florida took a step to inform and empower the community with information about the rapidly evolving situation. Hundreds of participants, including several pregnant couples, turned out for an informational session at South Miami Hospital to discuss the latest clinical findings, recommendations and misconceptions about the virus.

“The best way to fight fear is with knowledge,” said Tomas Villanueva, D.O., a primary care physician with Baptist Health Medical Group. He was joined on stage by Jorge Perez, M.D., medical director for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at South Miami Hospital and Rafael Perez, M.D., an obstetrical gynecologist at South Miami Hospital.

(VIDEO: Baptist Health South Florida doctors answer the public’s concerns about the Zika virus and pregnancy. Click on the video to learn more about recent developments and recommendations.)

Much of the presentation centered around recent findings related to the duration of the virus in men’s semen (now possibly longer than six months) and new information about onset of microcephaly (a serious birth defect in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and other health concerns) now presenting a few months after a child is born.

In regards to the Wynwood area of Miami (declared an ‘active transmission zone’), the CDC recommends a series of steps for pregnant women and their partners:

  • Pregnant women should not travel to this area.
  • Pregnant women and their partners living in this area should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
  • People who live in or traveled to this area and who have a pregnant sex partner should use condoms or other barriers to prevent infection every time they have sex or not have sex during the pregnancy.
  • All pregnant women in the United States should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit.
  • Pregnant women who live in or frequently travel to this area should be tested in the first and second trimester of pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women with possible Zika exposure and signs or symptoms of Zika should be tested for Zika.
  • Pregnant women who traveled to or had unprotected sex with a partner that traveled to or lives in this area should talk to their healthcare provider and should be tested for Zika.

Source: CDC

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 13 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.