There is a link between infection with Zika virus and fetal abZikanormalities. There may also be neurological implications for adults if infected.

The virus has been reported in Central and South America, the Caribbean, some parts of the US and South East Asia.

A regularly updated list and map of areas/countries both currently & previously affected by local transmission are available from the CDC website:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-information

International knowledge and understanding of the Zika virus is still evolving and regular updates are provided on the websites at the end of this document.

The virus is transmitted predominantly by mosquitoes but can also be transmitted sexually and probably blood and organ donation. It may remain in semen for up to six months, although recent evidence suggests that this is a rare occurrence.  In the majority of cases Zika virus levels are undetectable after 3 months.

The following guidelines aim to reduce risk of Zika virus infection and are subject to continuous review and ongoing updates.

There is no guarantee that this policy can eliminate all potential risk.

TRAVEL

– Avoid travel to areas or countries where there is active local transmission

Particularly, if you have an immune disorder or chronic illness.
Consider postponing travel to areas/countries not recently affected but affected previously

If travel is absolutely necessary or if you have already travelled to an area where the Zika virus is active.

Zika Virus Map

Use precautions against mosquito bites (repellent, long sleeves and trousers etc, sleep in air conditioned rooms or under mosquito nets).

Use barrier methods to prevent sexual transmission Barrier methods include: male or female condoms for penetrative sex, including sex toys, and male or female condoms or dental dams for oral-genital sex or oral-anal sexual contact. They must be used consistently and correctly for the entire duration of sexual contact

  • If in Zika affected areas: Use barrier protection for any sexual activities while you are in the area
  • Females, on return to Ireland from Zika affected areas: should continue to use barrier protection for any sexual activities and cannot proceed with fertility treatment for 8 weeks. If your male partner has been in the affected area you should continue to use barrier protection for any sexual activities for 3 months and you cannot proceed with fertility treatment that uses his sperm for 3 months (TSI, IUI, IVF, ICSI).
  • Males, on return to Ireland from Zika affected areas: should continue to use barrier protection for any sexual activities for 3 months and cannot proceed with fertility treatment that uses his sperm for 3 months (TSI, IUI, IVF, ICSI).
  • If a female has had sexual contact with a person who has been to an affected area in the last 3 months, she should not try to conceive naturally or proceed with fertility treatment for 8 weeks after her last sexual contact with him
  • If a male has had sexual contact with a person who has been to an affected area in the last 3 months, he should not try to conceive naturally or proceed with fertility treatment for 3 months after that sexual contact.
  • All persons returning form affected areas should take preventive measures to prevent mosquito bites as outlined above, for three weeks after having left an affected area
  • Partners of pregnant women returning form affected areas should use preventive measures to avoid sexual transmission for the duration of the pregnancy
  • Testing for Zika virus is possible, however false negative results can occur.
  •  ie. A negative result for Zika virus does not completely exclude risk of Zika virus being present.
  • Therefore, at MFC, we do not currently offer testing.  Rather, we do not proceed with treatment until the suggested time has passed.

 

NB discuss all travel with your fertility doctor or nurse.

For more information visit:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/zika/women-and-their-partners.html

List and maps of areas/countries affected with Zika virus

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-information