Zika virus has spread to most tropical regions in recent years. Infection, which is usually transmitted by tiger mosquitoes of the genus Aedes, in individual cases also by sexual or blood contact, usually causes no or only mild general symptoms. However, infection during pregnancy can lead to malformations, especially of the head (microcephaly), of the newborn.
The Robert Koch Institute recommends that women and their partners who are planning to become pregnant wait to become pregnant for the duration of the trip, according to WHO recommendations, and for the following periods after the end of the trip, depending on which partner traveled:
- Women should abstain from sex that can lead to pregnancy for at least 2 months after returning from a Zika area (i.e., consistently use contraceptives and condoms to prevent sexual transmission or abstain from sex for this period)
- Male sexual partners returning from a cicada area-even if they have no symptoms-should use condoms correctly and consistently for a period of at least 3 months or abstain from sex during this period to prevent sexual transmission and reduce the risk of pregnancy.
- If both partners return from a Zika area, pregnancy should be delayed for at least 3 months. The couple should use condoms correctly and consistently for a period of at least 3 months or abstain from sex during this period to prevent sexual transmission.
- Couples without symptoms who do not want to wait that long have the option to be serologically tested from day 28 after return of travel
You will need an appointment to discuss the indication and for the blood draw. Please note that laboratory testing is not useful until at least 28 days after returning from a Zika risk area. Unfortunately, the costs of laboratory tests cannot be covered by the statutory health insurance.