Zika virus and pregnancy
Pregnant or planning a pregnancy
Learn about Zika before you or your partner travel
The Zika virus is mainly spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.
The Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy may cause birth defects.
There is no vaccine to prevent, nor drug to treat, Zika virus infection.
- Avoid travel to Zika-affected countries or areas. See our Travel Health Notice on Travel.gc.ca for details.
- If you must travel, protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times.
- Get advice from a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic at least 6 weeks before you travel.
Zika can also be sexually transmitted.
If you or your partner is pregnant and you have travelled to a Zika-affected country or area
- always use condoms correctly during the pregnancy, or
- avoid having sex during the pregnancy
If you or your partner would like to become pregnant:
Female travellers should wait at least 2 months after returning from a Zika-affected country or area before trying for a pregnancy. This will ensure that if you were infected with the Zika virus during your travels it will be gone from your body before you get pregnant.
Male travellers should wait 6 months after returning from a Zika-affected country or area before trying for a pregnancy. During that time, you should:
- always use condoms correctly, or
- avoid having sex
For top protection: prevent mosquito bites
- Use insect repellent on exposed skin: follow label instructions.
- Use bed nets: they can also cover playpens, cribs and strollers.
- Cover up: wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay in:
- rooms with air conditioning
- places that have intact window and door screens
For more information: Canada.ca/zika-virus
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