ZIKA VIRUS UPDATE

The 2016 Summer Olympics are just a few weeks away and many of the athletes are currently enroute or have already arrived in Brazil. Travel warnings unfortunately remain in place despite this big event due to the Zika Virus. Pregnant women or those planning pregnancy need to be aware of the risks not only when travelling to Brazil but also other areas in the Americas & Pacific with known active Zika Virus transmission. Please check if planning a holiday that the area you plan to travel too is not on the list of affected areas.

The current NSW HEALTH recommendation is  that pregnant women are strongly advised NOT  to travel to the affected areas. If however pregnant women still plan to visit these areas they must be vigilant in protecting themselves against mosquito bites. (information available  on the MC& M Website -Health Alerts in regards to how best to avoid being bitten by mosquitos).Pregnant women should also avoid having unprotected sex with a partner who may have recently travelled to a ZIKA virus affected area  for their entire pregnancy.

Any woman who may have been exposed to the virus with or without symptoms  requires testing if pregnant or planning pregnancy in the near future. A woman who has a positive result will not always have a baby that is affected by the virus but expert advice should always be sought to ensure the right follow up occurs.

The following  website presents in table format the current Australian Guidelines for Pregnant women or those planning a pregnancy.

www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-zika.htm

Advice if Travelling to the Summer Olympics in Rio 2016 please follow this link.

www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/Travel-advice-Summer -Olympics-Rio-2016.aspx

Further information can be found on the NSW Health Website.