Zika Virus - please read(11 Posts)
My husband & I have put our baby plans on hold as we're due to travel to the Caribbean next month. I've read all the health info & numerous forum discussions where the advice is to postpone trying until 28 days after you return from infected areas, but if you have symptoms of the disease you need to wait six months!.
Straight forward I thought, until I read that 80% of those infected will NOT show symptoms. So if you're one of those who don't show symptoms how do you know for certain that you don't have it?. Wanting to clear this up I went to my GP. He admitted having no information on the subject so kindly telephoned a consultant at the infectious diseases clinic & we had the chat together on speaker phone.
The infectious diseases consultant stressed that we MUST wait six months & not 28 days as being reported. The reason for this is that the virus does not show symptoms in all women so there is no way of knowing if you have been infected or not and if you have been infected you need to wait the six month period. He also stressed that this could change as they learn more about the disease, it could shorten or even worse they may increase the waiting time to longer than six months.
I am very upset by this but relieved that I know now what I need to do to stay safe. I am posting this as I have seen so many posts online with women thinking to wait a couple of weeks is ok when in fact it isn't.
Can I add when it says wait 6 months, please be ultra ultra cautious with contraception!!!
Hi, this has just scared me. I went to mexico in early decemeber near cancun. I was bitten alot by mosquitos and i reacted badly with them bites swelling up or blistering. I did have a temprature from one of the bites. Now ive come home after taking my last pill in mexico wanting to ttc in January. Ive just ovulated and dtd hoping to concieve and now im panicking about this zika virus [confused. Where could i find more information about this??
So sorry to have panicked you, please try not to worry. I went to my GP as the advice online, including the NHS website, was conflicting.
You're best to speak to your local infectious diseases centre for your city. A Google search will find it for you, mine was at our local main hospital. The consultant I spoke to was very adamant that you need to wait six months to avoid the risk.
The people to talk to are Public Health England rather than Infectious Diseases. They are the national body that provides advice to both healthcare professionals and the public and will have a consultant who is looking at this at the moment. You can find their web pages for Zika at www.gov.uk/guidance/zika-virus
Current advice copied from PHE website 2 minutes ago is:
"However, if a female partner is at risk of getting pregnant, or is already pregnant, condom use is advised for a male traveller:
for 28 days after his return from an active Zika transmission area if he had no symptoms of unexplained fever and rash
for 6 months following recovery if a clinical illness compatible with Zika virus infection or laboratory confirmed Zika virus infection was reported
This is a precaution and may be revised as more information becomes available. Individuals with further concerns regarding potential sexual transmission of Zika virus should contact their GP for advice."
And for women
"Women should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant while travelling in an area with active Zika virus transmission. On returning to the UK, they should avoid becoming pregnant for a further 28 days; this allows for a maximum two-week incubation period (the time between exposure to an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms)."
"This is a precaution and may be revised as more information becomes available. Individuals with further concerns regarding potential sexual transmission of Zika virus should contact their GP for advice."
Hope this helps at least a little.
Infectious diseases are the specialists in this. The point you're missing is that not everyone shows symptoms & that's the issue! So you might think you've not got the virus but you have. That advice you've copied has been the advice since last week, I spoke to them yesterday & they said its continually being reviewed.
It's a personal decision but if I'm told by a consultant to absolutely not to risk it & that there is a chance it may be increased then I'm not going to risk it. It's the life of your baby at the end of the day & I'd rather be cautious than take a selfish risk. .
I completely understand why you would want to be cautious. I'm not offering advice on this. Just pointing to the PHE as a source of information. I'm also not saying that ID consultant don't know anything about Zika but PHE is where all England based NHS staff should be referring to to make sure the advice they are giving is up to date and consistant. You're right, the general advice hasn't been updated since last week but the PHE pages are updated as soon as updated info is available that changes the recommendations for travel and pregnancy/ttc. There was an update made yesterday to the list of countries.
The ID consultant can provide you with different advice to what is recommended nationally if they want to. The one you spoke to appears to be working on the cautious side while one I know thinks the national recommendations from PHE are excessive because there once the virus is no longer in the body after an infection there doesn't seem to be risk.
Here is a patient information leaflet on Zika virus in pregnancy produced by the UK teratology information service (I work there!). It was updated yesterday so contains all of the most up to date info. Feedback very welcome
Thanks for the link, it seems similar to all the other advice being given.
I'm just hoping by the time we return the advice has been updated again & the uncertainties have been cleared up. . I feel like now I've been told to wait six months I can't or darent go against this :-(
It seems like a big risk to take if you're going to be ttc soon... Especially as you say advice may change and you might have to wait for even longer than 6 months. Dosen't sound like it would be a very relaxing holiday if you're worrying all the time about possibly contracting a disease that would significantly affect the quality of life of your future child? Might be a lot less stressful to change your plans, if you can, and go somewhere else.
The annoying thing is we're on a 15 day cruise & only four of those days are in the Caribbean, the rest of the time we're safe away from it. We can't claim on insurance as I'm not actually pregnant & so would lose around £6,000 & this is a holiday of a lifetime for us & we're attending a wedding there so it would be a huge disappointment to the bride & groom as we're their only guests.
I've accepted it that our plans will have to be put on hold for 6 months, it's been hard to know what to do for the best. Decision made now & trying hard not to dwell on it. Keeping a watch on the Zika updates daily though & I'll return back to my GP a month or two after we return from our holiday to get any updates.
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