ZIKA ALERT: Information for All Parties to Assisted Reproductive Technologies
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Department of State, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) have all issued cautions relative to exposure to the Zika virus. Zika is spread by specific families of mosquitoes, as of this writing principally in Central and Latin America and the Caribbean, and also in Florida and other states in the US.
General travel warnings have been issued for Americans planning trips to points in Central and Latin America and the Caribbean, and more recently the US state of Florida, where the virus has been found.
Per the CDC warnings, ARTparenting is issuing this ZIKA ALERT recommending, until further notice, no travel to Florida — or any locales for which the CDC has issued a Zika Travel Advisory — for any parties considering or currently involved in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). This includes gestational surrogates, potential surrogates, egg donors, sperm donors, intended parents, their spouses, partners, and children.
Particularly vulnerable to the effects of the Zika virus are pregnant women. Babies born to women infected with the Zika virus have been found to suffer from an increased rate of microcephaly, a medical condition in which the brain does not develop properly, resulting in a smaller-than-normal head size, and other brain damage.
Because accurate diagnosis, transmission modes, incubation periods, effects on reproductive tissue, and other characteristics of the Zika virus are still being studied by health officials — particularly the virus’s effects on individuals other than pregnant women — ARTparenting is issuing this advisory in the interests of all its clients and gestational carriers for whom the birth of healthy babies is paramount.