Zika Virus & Pregnancy: When Aren’t Mosquitoes Assholes?

A few of you have emailed me about what’s going on with pregnant women in relation to the Zika virus. Here's what the sitch is.

A few of you have emailed me about what’s going on with pregnant women in relation to the Zika virus.

Here’s the sitch:

We’ve known about this mosquito-borne illness since the 1950s. It causes symptoms like headache, fever, rash, etc. in your average person, however, it seems to be causing a surge of microcephaly cases in certain areas. This is a condition where babies’ brains stop growing and causes abnormally small heads. From what I can gather, the first trimester is the most dicey time.

There is no vaccine for the virus and avoiding bites from the virus-host mosquito is the only way to prevent infection.

So, The CDC issued a Level 2 warning when travelling to the following countries*:

  • Barbados
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • French Guiana
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Martinique
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Martin
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela
  • Samoa
  • Cape Verde

* There are three CDC warning levels:

Level 1 – wear sunscreen and use common sense so you aren’t robbed in a dark alley at 2am because you aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Level 2 – There could be some unique health and safety risks in this area but if you want to go, that’s cool, we just wanted to warn you that some no-so-great stuff is going down.

Level 3 – Don’t go. It’s bad and if you end up making the papers, people will read it and say, “Well, what the hell did they expect going to XX?!”


Now if you live in these countries, authorities are beginning to advise women to avoid pregnancy for a while. You know, until they get vaccine or figure it out a little more – “just sit tight Madame, we’re working on some shit here.” I’m paraphrasing.
Now, if you have travel plans for these countries I can fully appreciate the ass ache this presents. Do you skip a glorious sun-filled holiday because a mosquito *might* bite you and that mosquito *might* be hosting the Zika virus, and you *might* get infected with it? You know it’s really easy to say, “it isn’t worth the risk” when it isn’t your amazing vacation and two grand flying out the window.

Or.

Do you face a bunch of eye rolls from people saying, “You cancelled your dream vacation because you’re scared of a bug?!” – because it’s really easy to say when you’re not the one taking the risk.

The resources I found helpful are here and here and here. Just be sure to pay close attention to your sources when you’re reading around the interwebs – anything that is random and can affect pregnant women is excellent click bait.

And here is the information I collected on bug spray safety during pregnancy as well.

I swear this is yet another reason to hate mosquitoes.

P.S. How long will it take for someone to shrill “No vacation is worth the risk to a baby!!” when I post this on Facebook to make us feel extra turdy? I give it six comments.

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20 Comments

  • Thank you for this. I contacted my doctor and she gave me some good info. We have one lovely baby and starting to think about #2, but want to visit my family in the Caribbean before it costs us a pretty penny.

  • Thank you for this. I live in Florida, where a few cases of Zika have been reported. I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant & my husband has turned into a Zika maniac. I’m not allowed to leave our screened in porch or I seriously get yelled at. He rushes me from the house to the car every time I have an appt & he doesn’t even let me run errands with him anymore. Thankfully, he’s at sea for a few weeks (US Navy) & wasn’t home today to see me being attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes when I took the trash to the road. I can’t wait to pop this baby out so he can focus all the nervous energy on her instead of me.

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