Zika virus and pregnancy

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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

Type: Poster

Date published: 2018-02-01

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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

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

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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