Zika Virus & Pregnancy

University Hospital’s new Zika Center is dedicated to the care of women who have tested positive for the Zika virus, and for babies who have been potentially exposed to the virus. The new center also serves as a resource for research and education to pregnant women, new mothers and families as the Zika virus continues to extend its reach in our state.

Led by Dr. Patrick Ramsey, a maternal-fetal medical specialist and the area’s foremost authority on Zika, this new center has an expert team that includes maternal–fetal medicine physicians, neonatologists, pediatric neurologists, audiologists, behavioral health professionals and a pediatric infectious disease specialist, Dr. Joseph “J.B.” Cantey.

Pregnancy and the Effects of Zika

Pregnant women and their unborn babies are especially vulnerable to the Zika virus. If the virus is contracted while a woman is pregnant, it can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, which prevents the baby’s head from growing normally and can result in developmental issues. Additionally, microcephaly can cause other serious problems including Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological disease. If pregnant, it is important that you and your partner refrain from travelling to areas affected by Zika.