If you have a positive Zika test result during pregnancy, it lets your doctor know to watch your pregnancy more carefully. Your doctor might want to do more ultrasounds or other tests to check the growth and development of your baby. Your doctor may perform these tests or your doctor may refer you to a maternal fetal medicine specialist who is an expert in high-risk pregnancies. A positive test result for Zika does not mean that your baby will have birth defects. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe brain defects in some babies, so it is important to receive the appropriate care.
Once your baby is born, it’s very important that you tell your baby’s doctor and other healthcare professionals about your diagnosis. Before you leave the hospital, your baby should be tested for Zika virus and receive additional tests, such as a head ultrasound and a hearing screen. Testing and screening your baby as soon as possible will help to identify problems that can cause developmental delays in infants and children earlier, potentially reduce the long-term effect of Zika on children and families, and give children the best chance to reach their full potential.
Also, not all Zika-related birth defects are noticeable at birth so your baby should be monitored closely after birth by his/her doctor. This may mean additional visits with doctors who are trained in looking for possible problems in development. You may also want to contact your state/territorial health department to learn about resources and information specific to your area.
Materials and Resources
Below are links to additional information.
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Materials available from CDC:
- Effects of Zika during pregnancy
- Microcephaly and other brain abnormalities
- Information to share with your doctor
- Zika testing
- Linkage from mother to baby (follow up)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Zika website
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- March of Dimes website Zika page
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Zika Travel Information
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