Vol. 66, No. 22
June 09, 2017
Measures Taken to Prevent Zika Virus Infection During Pregnancy — Puerto Rico, 2016
Weekly / June 9, 2017 / 66(22);574–578
Denise V. D’Angelo, MPH1; Beatriz Salvesen von Essen, MPH2; Mark J. Lamias1; Holly Shulman, MA1; Wanda I. Hernandez-Virella, MPH2; Aspy J. Taraporewalla, MS1; Manuel I. Vargas, MD2; Leslie Harrison, MPH1; Sascha R. Ellington, MSPH1; Leslianne Soto, MS2; Tanya Williams, MPH1; Aurea Rodriguez, MPH2; Carrie K. Shapiro-Mendoza, PhD1; Brenda Rivera, DVM3; Shanna Cox, MSPH1; Karen Pazol, PhD1; Marion E. Rice, MPH4; Deborah L. Dee, PhD1; Lisa Romero, DrPH1; Eva Lathrop, MD1; Wanda Barfield, MD1; Ruben A. Smith, PhD1; Denise J. Jamieson, MD1; Margaret A. Honein, PhD4; Carmen Deseda, MD3; Lee Warner, PhD1 (View author affiliations)View suggested citation
What is known about this topic?
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly, brain abnormalities, and other severe birth defects. Puerto Rico has recorded the largest number of laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus infections among pregnant women in the United States, and has implemented strategies to prevent infection during pregnancy and ensure health care provider counseling and testing for Zika virus.
What is added by this report?
Among women in Puerto Rico who had a recent live birth, 98.1% reported using at least one measure to avoid mosquitos in their home environment during their pregnancy. However, fewer than half of women reported wearing mosquito repellent daily (45.8%), and only one in 10 reported wearing pants and shirts with long sleeves daily. Among sexually active pregnant women, 38.5% reported abstaining from sex or using condoms consistently throughout pregnancy. Most women (94.3%) also reported that their health care provider talked to them about Zika virus infection during pregnancy, and approximately three quarters of respondents (76.9%) reported being tested for Zika virus by their health care provider during the first or second trimester of pregnancy.
What are the implications for public health practice?
Women in Puerto Rico have high levels of concern about acquiring Zika virus infection during pregnancy, and health care providers are counseling them about Zika virus prevention. However, additional measures are needed to encourage consistent use of preventive measures throughout pregnancy and increase testing for Zika virus during pregnancy.