The Zika virus and pregnancy: evidence, management, and prevention

Added May 11, 2017

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Zika virus infection appears to be a mild disease in the general population but a potential threat to the foetus. Mobilization of governmental and public health resources with the focus on prevention is urgently needed.

A Zika virus epidemic has been declared in several countries in the Americas. The aim of this review is to inform obstetric care providers about the potential implications of Zika virus exposure in pregnancy and present management strategies based on the current literature and guidelines. Zika virus infection during pregnancy could have devastating consequences such as miscarriage, foetal death, microcephaly, brain defects and long-term neurologic sequelae. Zika virus epidemiology, transmission, clinical symptoms, diagnosis and management during pregnancy and the prevention of transmission were all reviewed. No definitive current evidence suggests the existence of non-vector transmission through sexual activity with an infected male partner. Pregnant and childbearing age women with a risk of sexual transmission are advised to use condoms. Management guidelines are currently evolving and will be significantly impacted as new evidence develops. It is therefore imperative that obstetric health-care providers keep abreast of this rapidly evolving information that has so far characterized this outbreak. The authors did not report any risk of bias assessment.