Zika virus: what to know if you are pregnant

Posted at 10:49 PM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 23:34:46-05

Patricia Pichirilo is nine months pregnant, and like any new mom-to-be, she has a thousand worries and "what if's" for her doctor. 

She never thought she would inquire about something called the Zika virus. She said like many pregnant women, she's worried about the lack of information surrounding a cure.

"It's very concerning anytime I feel anything, I'm like I hope I didn't get bit by anything," she said.

Dr. Dudley Brown, who's from Jamaica himself, has a message for his patients: avoid travel areas of concern.

"I tell folks if you don't have to go, don't go," said Doctor Dudley Brown, an OBGYN at St. Mary's Medical Center.

The risk is there for pregnant women or even those who are just thinking about conceiving in the future.

"Say you get bitten and infected with the virus today and you don't get pregnant for three months, we don't how long that antibody reaction from the infection will last that may compromise the pregnancy," he said.

Dr. Brown said this warning about travel doesn't just apply to women.

"The partners of those women should also probably avoid non-essential travel, but if they do have to travel there, and they do think they've been exposed, when they return they should be tested and have protected intercourse," Dr. Brown said.