Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy?
Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada
Date published: 2019-04-12
Learn about Zika virus before you or your partner travel
Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby and an infection during pregnancy can cause birth defects.
There is no vaccine to prevent, or medicine to treat Zika virus infection.
If you are pregnant, you should avoid:
- travelling to a Zika-affected country or area
- unprotected sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to a Zika-affected country or area for the duration of your pregnancy
If you can’t avoid travel, you should:
- follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures
- discuss your travel plans with a health care professional at least 6 weeks before you travel and follow up upon your return
- avoid unprotected sexual contact with anyone
See our Travel Health Notice on Travel.gc.ca for details.
If you are planning a pregnancy after travelling:
- Women should wait 2 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. This will ensure that any possible Zika virus infection is cleared from your body.
- Men should wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. Infectious Zika virus has been found in the semen of some infected men for a prolonged period of time. During this 3-month period, men should:
- always use condoms correctly, or
- avoid having sex
Prevent mosquito bites for the best protection.
- Use an approved insect repellent and apply it properly
- Cover up by wearing light-coloured, loose clothing, long pants and tucked-in long-sleeved shirts with closed-toe shoes or boots and a hat
- Stay in indoor areas that are completely enclosed or well-screened
- Use mosquito netting (bed net) when sleeping outdoors or staying in a building that is not completely enclosed or does not have functioning screens or doors and to cover playpens, cribs or strollers
For more information: Canada.ca/zika-virus
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