Use an EPA-approved insect repellant. Those containing DEET are proven effective and are safe for pregnant women. Medicaid, CHIP and the Healthy Texas Women program will cover the cost of certain mosquito repellents for females 10-45, and pregnant women of any age. Other ways to avoid mosquito bites: wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants (you can spray repellants on your clothes, too), remove standing water around your home (here’s a great video from Metro Health on how to do that), or stay indoors.
If you’re pregnant, Zika can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, which is a sign that the baby’s brain hasn’t grown properly. The infection can also cause other serious problems, including a neurological disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome. If you are pregnant, do not travel to an area with Zika. If you are pregnant and have a partner who lives in or has traveled to areas with Zika, do not have sex — or use condoms every time — during your pregnancy. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL to a place with Zika during your pregnancy, talk to your doctor first and always follow advice on how to avoid being bitten.
Zika can be found in someone’s blood for a week after infection. During that time, that person can spread the virus to a mosquito through mosquito bites — allowing the mosquito to infect other people. That same infected person can spread the virus through sex.
Symptoms of Zika infection may be mild or non-existent. Symptoms can include fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (or red eyes), muscle pain and headaches. Symptoms can last up to a week. People who are infected don’t often get sick enough to go to a hospital, and they rarely die of Zika. Once infected, people are likely to have immune protection from getting infected again. There is no specific treatment for Zika.