At risk for Zika? CDC now recommends getting tested before pregnancy

A batch of different types of mosquito breeds are being collected by City of Austin’s Danny Gonzalez on June 22. The city is sending collection samples of mosquitos caught in  the trap for testing by the state. RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new health advisory Monday for women who might have been exposed to Zika and think they might want to get pregnant.

What the CDC is discovering is those Zika antibodies that are floating around your body after you’ve been exposed can still be in your body more than 12 weeks after you’ve been exposed. For women who think they might want to get pregnant, getting tested before pregnancy would help their doctors know if they were exposed before pregnancy or during pregnancy.

There are two tests for Zika: the Zika virus immunoglobulin M and the Zika virus nucleic acid test. Both tests have their limitations, but the CDC is recommending  doing the IgM test before pregnancy and in the first trimester as well as doing the NAT test every trimester.

In the U.S. both Texas and Florida have had cases of Zika.


As well, if you’ve traveled to these countries, the CDC has issued travel advisories for them:


Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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