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Your patient is a 24 year old South American woman who lives in Florida and has just returned from visiting her parents in Brazil. She is 8 weeks pregnant with her first child. She is in for her first pre-natal visit and tells you that while visiting her homeland, she had a period of time where she did not feel well and had a fever which passed after several days. She also reports that she had vomiting during that same time frame but attributed it to being pregnant.
She is now very concerned about what she is reading in the newspapers here and hearing on TV about the Zika Virus and the fact that it can cause birth defects. She is asking you if this means that her child will not be born healthy. She also asks if she can pass the virus to her husband through sex as that is what she thinks she has heard and read.
Realizing that you know very little about this virus which is new to this country you begin to gather information for yourself and for your patient. You would want answers to the questions below. Is there anything other information you might want to add?
**What is Zika?
**How is it transmitted?
** Where was this virus first discovered?
**When was the first case recorded here in the US? Where?
**If your patient were not pregnant or planning to be pregnant in the next few months…would your information provided be different in any way?
**What are the symptoms of Zika?
**Is there a test that can be done to let you know if your patient has had a Zika illness?
**What are the birth defects supposedly related to having the Zika Virus while pregnant? What is the pathophysiology r/t these defects and having the virus?
**Is it only possible for mothers who contracted Zika in the first trimester to have babies born with birth defects like microcephaly because this is when the fetus is developing the brain and skull?
**What are the issues if a pregnant woman contracts Zika when other organs are being developed but after the brain and skull are fully developed and are without defect? Will other organs be affected?
** What if any are the ramifications if Zika is contracted later in the pregnancy when the baby is fully developed and just in the process of gaining weight? What are the issues?
**Many people living in communities that are proposing the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes are protesting this plan. What is the controversy? Why are the people fearful? What is hoped to be gained from the release of this new strain of mosquito’s?
**Where are the scientists in terms of development of a vaccine?

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