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Keeping Your Baby Safe: Current Health Concerns- Listeria and Zika Virus

January 29, 2016
You may have seen in the news several new health concerns that affect pregnant women and their babies. Here are recommendations from The American College of OBGYN’s on both the Zika Virus and Listeria.
The Zika Virus is transmitted by mosquitos in certain parts of the world (so far Mexico, Central and South America, the Carribean) and can cause severe birth defects to the fetus, especially if the mother is exposed in the first trimester. There are advisories out about avoiding these areas during pregnancy, ways to prevent mosquito exposure, and signs/symptoms of exposure. Please read this ACOG bulletin for more information.
Listeriosis (food-borne illness from the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes) is dangerous in pregnancy as it can be damaging or even deadly to a fetus. This is why you’re told during pregnancy to avoid undercooked foods like lunch meats, hot dogs, sushi, etc. Recently, there has been a contamination of certain lettuce products by the Dole brand and there has been a large recall. Please see the CDC guideline for more specific, up-to-date information.  
The basics on Listeriosis in pregnancy are this:
*If you know you have consumed a product listed in the recall, monitor yourself for a fever (100.2F) and symptoms (diarrhea, generalized muscle and backache, nausea, vomiting) and notify your provider if you have any of those for further testing and treatment. Symptoms typically begin within several days of exposure.
*If you know you have consumed a product listed in the recall but do NOT have a fever or any of those symptoms listed above, there is no need for testing or treatment.
These recommendations are based on those from this 2014 ACOG bulletin.
Please follow these guidelines to keep you and your baby safe and contact your provider with any questions or concerns.
Be well!
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