Zika Virus and Pregnancy: A Review of the Literature and Clinical Considerations

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The latest Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak has reached epidemic proportions as it spreads throughout South and Central America. In November 2015, the Brazilian Ministry of Health reported a 20-fold increase in the number of cases of neonatal microcephaly, which corresponds geographically and temporally to the ZIKV outbreak. Case reports have provided some evidence of a causal link between maternal ZIKV infection, fetal microcephaly, and intracranial calcifications. The sparse data regarding ZIKV in pregnancy come solely from case reports and personal communications, and recommendations for management of ZIKV exposure during pregnancy are rapidly evolving. Our objective is to review and synthesize the current literature regarding ZIKV as it pertains to pregnancy and provide some assistance to clinicians who may have to manage a pregnant patient with potential exposure to ZIKV. We will also explore certain aspects of related viruses in pregnancy in hopes to shed light on this little-known topic.

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