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What might happen to my baby if I get Zika when I'm pregnant?

If you get Zika when you are pregnant your baby could be born with defects. In April 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the microcephaly suspicion–babies with very small heads and other brain defects–was strongly, strongly linked to the disease, where in the past it was conjecture. Now, it seems that the evidence really bears this out. Pregnant women are a vulnerable group of people, and the efforts to contain this disease involve screening all people that travel but particularly pregnant women, women trying to become pregnant and their sexual partners as well.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

If you are infected with the Zika virus while pregnant, your baby may be born with a small brain or head. This is called microcephaly. Scientists believe the Zika virus interferes with how the baby's brain develops while in the womb. The brain does not develop the right amount of neurons as it grows.

The link between the Zika virus and microcephaly is rather new. There is not a lot of information to tell whether all pregnant women and their babies are at risk for danger if infected. There is also limited research to know which part of pregnancy (or trimester) is the most dangerous time to become infected.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.