Zika transmission via mosquito- pregnancy edition
June 19, 2017 2:27 PM   Subscribe

So, I'm 5 months pregnant and my husband and MIL had to travel to a Zika transmission zone/country recently. I have questions about mosquitoes transmission.

My OB has been less than helpful and recommended that I contact the health department (which I will do) but for now....

I understand that protected sex is the key to preventing transmission and that most people do not show symptoms of infection.

My question is about transmission via mosquito bites and how worried I should be. We live in an area where the mosquito population is out of control- recent rains have really not helped and neither has the aerial spraying done by my county.

My MIL, who lives with us, spends many, many hours outside smoking, gets bitten daily and does not spray herself with DEET (or any repellent). My husband WILL spray himself, but only if he'll be out a while. He gets bitten every few days (just walking to the car is enough to get dive-bombed). Complicating this is that I am allergic to many chemicals and fragrances and suffer from asthma attacks when I spray myself (even 'natural' sprays). I get bitten 2-3X per week as the bastards get into the house sometimes.

Are there any studies out there that specifically talk about mosquito transmission? I know that the risk is fairly small, but I am worried about a mosquito biting my MIL and then a day or two later biting me. How emphatic should I be about my MIL spraying herself? I am most concerned about her transmitting to mosquitoes as she is covered in bites daily. I am willing to put my foot down/make this an issue but I don't want to be super alarmist either. I am so trying to be chill about this.

Cool heads with science backed advice would be most welcome.
posted by PorcineWithMe to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'll have to do some digging from my work computer about the article I just read but the risk of complications goes down with each month of the pregnancy. So even IF you were to get Zika, it's less less likely that you're baby suffers ill effects. I will try to do some digging (likely tomorrow) to get you the correct article.
posted by raccoon409 at 2:37 PM on June 19

CDC.gov/zika is an excellent but very dense resource.

If you look at the pregnancy/Zika page it lists this number:
MotherToBaby experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat. The free and confidential service is available Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (local time). To reach MotherToBaby: Call 1-866-626-6847
Chat live or send an email through the MotherToBaby website

Here's advice I found:
After returning home from visiting an area with Zika risk, individuals should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites for 3 weeks to prevent spread of Zika virus to mosquitos that subsequently might infect other people.
posted by typecloud at 2:59 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]

I would seriously consider going to visit a friend or relative for a few weeks.
posted by amtho at 3:19 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]

amtho- I totally would except I have two kids home for the summer and I'm so damn exhausted that the idea of packing the three of us up for an out of state trip makes me quake.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:32 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]

You can reduce your risks of bites with physical barriers likelong sleeve shirts, pants and socks.
So can your MIL.

It's hot, but there are loose fitting long sleeve clothes out there if sprays aren't an option.

Call your health department tomorrow.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:39 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]

I'm a life long Floriduh resident, so I'm plenty knowledgeable about physical barriers. Compliance by my MIL in that regard is not going to happen and frankly, she'd have to wear a beekeeper's uniform as the mosquitoes are so, so bad this season. Next level bad. I got 7 bites while making breakfast this morning- INside the house. I'm going to call and have the yard sprayed, but what I want to know is 'how aggressive should I be with my MIL about using bug spray?' and 'are there any studies that show how much risk of transmission from asymptomatic travelers?'.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:30 PM on June 19

How long has she been home? How many bites did she get while there?
posted by amaire at 11:01 PM on June 19

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