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Pregnant Connecticut Woman Tests Positive for Zika Virus

May 03, 2016 By Hartford HealthCare

Zika FactsHartford HealthCare doctors are advising pregnant women who have traveled to Central America and South America and have at least two symptoms consistent with the Zika virus to receive testing after the state Department of Public Health Tuesday announced that a Connecticut woman has tested positive for the mosquito-borne illness.

The woman, who became pregnant while traveling in South America, has since returned to South America. Dr. Adam Borgida, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Hartford Hospital, says pregnant women should watch for these symptoms: fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia and conjunctivitis.

Tests for Zika virus infection are currently performed through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with assistance from the state Department of Public Health. Hartford HealthCare can help facilitate the process, says Borgida.

“If a pregnant woman has traveled to an area of concern for Zika virus and does not have any symptoms,” he says, “they can be offered ultrasound to screen for microcephaly.”

If ultrasound results reveal microcephaly or intracranial calcifications, he says, the patient should be tested for Zika virus.

Dr. Jack Ross, chief of infectious disease at Hartford Hospital, says pregnant women should reconsider travel to areas where Zika has become increasingly prevalent.

“If pregnant and planning to travel to the countries of interest, you need to take it seriously,” he says. “Take precautions regarding mosquitoes, and you should consider postponing travel.”

Ross says the United States will not see an “explosive spread” of the virus, but travelers will continue to test positive for the virus.

“For the average American not traveling,” he says, “you do not need to worry.”

Ross expects renewed attention to vaccines, mosquito control and the need for antivirals, “a recurrent theme today for arboviruses.”

“We are working with the patient’s physician to ensure that both the physician and the patient have all the necessary information and guidance they need,” says DPH Commissioner Raul Pino. “The virus is very dangerous for the babies of pregnant women, causing serious birth defects and miscarriages.”


For more information

Health Essentials: Zika Facts

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Podcast: New guidance on how to deal with Zika virus

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Video

Zika and Pregnancy (FOX61)

 

Zika Risks Q&A, Dr. Garner (WTNH)

 

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