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Pregnancy & Zika Virus in Northern California

Zika virus is transmitted and spread by infected mosquitoes and sexual contact with an infected person. It may cause only mild illness in adults, but Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects.

If you are concerned about Zika virus infection and how it may affect a current or future pregnancy, Find a Doctor today at Dignity Health North State. Our board-certified obstetricians will explain the most recent information on Zika virus in Northern California and abroad. We also have highly skilled specialists in our neonatal intensive care unit to treat premature and seriously ill babies with fetal conditions.


Zika Virus Symptoms & Testing at Dignity Health North State

The most common symptoms of Zika virus include:

  • Aches and pains, including joint pain
  • Eye pain and redness
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash

Zika virus testing can confirm or rule out infection if your doctor suspects you may have the virus based on your symptoms and risk factors, such as recent travel to areas with infected mosquitos. 

With a Zika virus pregnancy, it is not yet clear how often the infection affects the baby. The main concern is a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly. The baby’s skull and brain stop growing either while still in the womb or during the first two years of life after birth. A baby born with Zika virus may experience seizures, developmental and learning delays, and poor coordination.


Zika Virus Prevention

Pregnant women and their partners should not travel to areas with Zika-infected mosquitoes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a list of these areas. You and your sexual partner must take steps to prevent infection with Zika virus if there is a risk of exposure. Protect yourself from mosquito bites and from contracting Zika through sex and passing it to your baby. 

Ask your doctor about additional precautions if you are infected or have been potentially exposed to Zika virus. Experts recommend waiting at least eight weeks if you are a woman or six months if you are a man before trying to conceive a pregnancy.


Zika Virus Treatment at Dignity Health North State

If you are infected with Zika virus and currently pregnant or become pregnant, your doctor will order pregnancy and prenatal tests and carefully monitor you and your baby’s health. Currently, there is no cure for Zika virus. Your doctor will help you understand the possible outcomes and coordinate any necessary care if your baby is born with Zika virus birth defects.

Talk to your doctor for more information about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Zika virus in Northern California.

Dignity Health North State has a dedicated team of obstetric and neonatal experts for symptoms and complications of Zika virus in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.