Women in Canada have been told that they should put off becoming pregnant if they've visited one of the areas that's been hit by the Zika virus. Is the U.S. next?
Canadian women have been advised against becoming pregnant within two months of visiting a country where the Zika virus is circulating.
This stance is different than the one American officials are taking: The CDC has advised that pregnant women not travel to a growing list of areas where the virus is present, but hasn't made the same recommendation for women who are trying to conceive—they say these women should simply speak with their doctors before becoming pregnant if they travel to one of these areas.
As previously reported, the virus seems to be relatively mild when it affects most people, but poses some serious threats to pregnant women. Pregnant women have even been advised against traveling to the 2016 Summer Olympics to avoid the virus.
In Brazil, high occurrences of the Zika virus have been linked to an increase in cases of microcephaly, a disorder that can cause a baby to be born with an abnormally small head. The virus has been linked to other viruses as well and might even lead to stillbirth.
Both Canadians and Americans have traveled to one of Zika's affected areas, only to be diagnosed with the virus when they return home. Because we've learned that Zika can be transmitted sexually, pregnant women are advised to abstain from sexual activity (or use condoms) if your partner has traveled to one of the areas on the CDC's no-go list as well.