Women's Awareness and Healthcare Provider Discussions About Zika Virus During Pregnancy, United States, 2016–2017

Letitia Williams; Denise V. D'Angelo; Brenda Bauman; Ada C. Dieke; Sascha R. Ellington; Carrie K. Shapiro-Mendoza; Shanna Cox; Philip Hastings; Holly Shulman; Leslie Harrison; Martha Kapaya; Wanda D. Barfield; Lee Warner


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2020;26(5):998-1001. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


We surveyed women with a recent live birth who resided in 16 US states and 1 city during the 2016 Zika outbreak. We found high awareness about the risk of Zika virus infection during pregnancy and about advisories to avoid travel to affected areas but moderate levels of discussions with healthcare providers.


Zika virus infection (ZIKV), transmitted primarily by the Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes, is a serious threat to pregnant women because of the risk of microcephaly and other birth defects in infants.[1,2] In late 2015, an unprecedented ZIKV outbreak emerged in South America and spread rapidly into other parts of the Americas. Although the outbreak has subsided, and pregnant women residing in the United States were at risk for ZIKV infection primarily if they traveled to affected areas or had sexual contact with a partner who traveled to an affected area, information about the outbreak was publicized.[3] In particular, travel advisories and guidance about ZIKV were published during the 2016 Zika outbreak,[4–6] but the degree of awareness of ZIKV among pregnant women in the United States is unknown. We examined awareness of ZIKV, discussions about ZIKV with healthcare providers, and knowledge of travel advisories to avoid ZIKV-affected areas during pregnancy among women who delivered a live infant during the outbreak.