What you need to know about the Zika virus

By now I’m sure you have heard of the Zika virus spreading in the tropic countries. You may not have given it much thought considering Zika has not been found in the continental United States. However, if you are trying to conceive or are pregnant, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has advised not to travel to parts of the world that are affected by the Zika virus, if possible. This applies to egg donors and surrogates as well. Talk of the Zika virus stirred up again when The Today Show news anchor Savannah Guthrie announced recently that she’s pregnant and will not be traveling to Brazil for the Summer Olympics. The virus is contracted through mosquito bites; however, it can be transmitted by sexual intercourse, blood transfusions, and reproductive tissues. Egg donors are deemed ineligible if they have been diagnosed with Zika within the last 6 months, have traveled or lived in an affected area within the last 6 months, and/or has had sexual intercourse with a person who has either traveled or lived in an affected area or who has been diagnosed with Zika. We are taking extra precaution with egg donors. Egg donors are asked if they have traveled to affected areas in the last 6 months or have had sexual intercourse with someone who has traveled to the affected areas in the last 6 months. If they answer yes, then they are deemed ineligible. Once an egg donor is selected, she completes FDA screening, is contractually obligated to abstain from sexual intercourse and is prohibited to travel internationally to any of the countries affected until the egg retrieval is completed. HRC Fertility and Donor Nexus strictly follow the FDA and CDC guidelines to ensure the egg donors and intended parents are safe. For more information on the Zika virus visit the CDC’s website.

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