In the midst of Zika: The role of childbirth professionals

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International Journal of Childbirth Education

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The rapid spread of Zika virus presents a public health crisis. Zika is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. Symptoms of Zika virus develop 2 to 12 days after the bite and range from no symptoms to maculopapular rash, fever, arthralgia, muscle pain, headache, and conjunctivitis. Zika virus is especially dangerous to pregnant women as it can cause fetal brain defects, hearing loss, ocular abnormalities, and central nervous system defects. Because there is no vaccine or specific treatment, it is imperative for childbirth professionals to arm themselves with the most up-to-date information. This article aims to provide childbirth professionals with an overview of Zika virus, the recommended prevention measures, and their role in preventing the spread of Zika virus and its consequences.