Zika before pregnancy?
April 24, 2016 1:05 PM   Subscribe

Is there any evidence on the effects of Zika infection before pregnancy? We might be traveling to Brazil, and we don't have plans for kids in the next year or so, but are still concerned.

It seems to me that birth defects are the results of the active virus being passed to the fetus. Is there any risk if the virus has been cleared from the mother's system? Is there any evidence that the virus can remain in one's system more that a couple months?
posted by molla to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have no sources for this, but last night a friend asked her father (who is an immunologist) this same question. He said that with a year gap, there would be no threat to the baby.

Anything with an actual source would be better, but thought I would share.
posted by kellygrape at 1:16 PM on April 24, 2016

I asked my obstetrics professor about this last week and his answer was that although people have their hunches based on how we know other viruses to behave, no one really knows at this point -- it can be neither ruled out nor confirmed at this point that infection well before pregnancy poses a risk.
posted by telegraph at 1:42 PM on April 24, 2016 [11 favorites]

The current CDC guidance recommends that women with potential exposure refrain from conceiving for eight weeks. Men with possible exposure but asymptomatic should also refrain for eight weeks; men with symptoms should wait six months as there is evidence that it remains transmissible by sperm for a longer period of time.

The advice is based on the longest known period of time the virus is thought to survive in the bloodstream, multiplied by three.

You should be fine, you can check with the cdc guidelines again before you try to conceive.
posted by noonday at 3:49 PM on April 24, 2016 [6 favorites]

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