Hey Mom, Please Calm Down About Zika

Photo: Bevan Goldswain

You may have heard that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a travel advisory for pregnant women (and women trying to get pregnant) on account of the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease that’s associated with a serious birth defect in children born to infected women. If you haven’t heard of Zika, there’s a decent chance your mom has, and is bombarding you with texts and emails about your upcoming trip to Mexico.

Yes, it’s scary that there’s an ongoing Zika outbreak in Brazil and cases reported elsewhere in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico. And it’s not comforting that there’s no vaccine or specific treatment for the disease. But you’d have to be currently cooking a baby (or trying to make one) in order for the virus to pose a threat to your spawn. Direct from the CDC:

“Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for only a few days to a week. The virus will not cause infections in an infant that is conceived after the virus is cleared from the blood. There is currently no evidence that Zika virus infection poses a risk of birth defects in future pregnancies.”

Your future grandkids will be fine, Mom. Now stop asking when they’re coming.