Zika Virus - Help!

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Zika Virus - Help!

Postby beccam29 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:23 am

Hi everyone,
I am 8 weeks along right now. I found out I was pregnant while in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I would've been 4.5-5 weeks along while there. We were staying at a resort and I honestly do not recall ever being bit by mosquitos, but I am so terrified now that I could have contracted the virus.
I have informed my OBGYN as well, and am waiting to hear back from them.
Just curious if anyone else is in this position? Any advice? I am going to be paranoid until a late 2nd trimester ultrasound can confirm anything :(
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby MamaBird912 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:09 pm

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I don't have any advice. The only solace you will have is knowing you didn't get bitten. It has been said to transfer via semen, so if your SO had it you could have gotten it that way. Most people have no symptoms. All they can do is monitor you until you can have an US later.

If there is something wrong...you'll still love your child just as much won't you? It's still your baby. Enjoy being pregnant, look forward to the milestones. Try not to let it ruin a beautiful time in your life. You'll still feel kicks, wiggles, hiccups. You'll hear the heartbeat. It's a living person, microcephaly or not.
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby elohcin » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:48 am

beccam29 wrote:Hi everyone,
I am 8 weeks along right now. I found out I was pregnant while in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I would've been 4.5-5 weeks along while there. We were staying at a resort and I honestly do not recall ever being bit by mosquitos, but I am so terrified now that I could have contracted the virus.
I have informed my OBGYN as well, and am waiting to hear back from them.
Just curious if anyone else is in this position? Any advice? I am going to be paranoid until a late 2nd trimester ultrasound can confirm anything :(


The more I read about this, the less I feel concerned. It is not a new virus by any means, and the interesting thing with all the pregnant women who had babies born with issues was that they all had the TDAP vaccine during their pregnancy. Keep in mind that they will not TEST vaccines on pregnant women, ever, because it is 'unethical', but they will just GIVE them to them. So there is NO justification in saying that their administrating this one during pregnancy was/is safe, and it is definitely a common denominator in this issue. Zika is a virus, so is the flu, so is the common cold. If your immune system is strong, you're probably just fine. I had a similar issue with hanta virus (mice) when I first found out I was pregnant, and it stressed me out SO badly, so I can sort of relate to your concerns. But really, just remember the only thing you can do now is take good care of your body and pray all is well, and remember that the chances of there being something wrong are small. You were VERY newly pregnant at the time, and if you didn't show any signs of a viral infection, then you likely didn't contract it (and if you did, and were asymptomatic, then you probably have a great immune system that took care of it on it's own). Thinking of you mama...pregnancy is SO dang stressful.
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby beccam29 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:57 am

Thank you so much for the information and reassurance!! That is so helpful and makes me feel so much better :). Question- is TDAP the whooping cough vaccine? I can't remember. I know I had that vaccine my last pregnancy, or I believe I did. Is there known risk with that vaccine in pregnant women? That kind of concerns me now. Just wondering if you have any other info!! Thank you!
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby elohcin » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:11 am

beccam29 wrote:Thank you so much for the information and reassurance!! That is so helpful and makes me feel so much better :). Question- is TDAP the whooping cough vaccine? I can't remember. I know I had that vaccine my last pregnancy, or I believe I did. Is there known risk with that vaccine in pregnant women? That kind of concerns me now. Just wondering if you have any other info!! Thank you!


Doctors are really pushing that vaccine right now- yes, it includes the pertussis vaccine. You'll want to do your own research on it, as it's definitely a conclusion you have to come to on your own, but I really think it's worth remembering that, as previously mentioned, vaccines are not tested on pregnant women. They won't do it, but they will still give them to them. So while anyone can say they are safe, they have no real studies to show that (and people will say there are studies out there, usually based on anecdotal evidence, which can be extremely inaccurate and short term, but I have yet to see them). I am of the belief that in pregnancy, I'd much rather keep myself healthy and minimize exposure to what I can (and if I am exposed, it will be via the first defense lines of the immune system- skin and mucus membranes), whereas a vaccine is absolutely exposing you (to things you might not have been otherwise) and bypassing the first lines of defense. This is all on top of the possibility that I may not even acquire any immunity from them, and I don't care to do that along with inject all the adjuvants and preservatives into my body with it that I wouldn't be getting otherwise. This is the conclusion I've come to over years of researching it for myself, but it's definitely different for everyone so you absolutely want to make sure you look into it on your own. :)
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby MamaBird912 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:41 am

Zika often shows no symptoms, only 1/5 people get sick..its also now found to be sexually transmitted. I don't know anything about tdap in pregnancy, I was given mine right after my son was born while I was in the hospital. In my opinion that'd be the safest way to get the shot. That way baby isn't affected.
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby Amanda0713 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:03 am

I really don't want to start a pro vs anti vaccination debate, but I wanted to chime in a little bit. Although the pregnant women in Brazil did receive TDAP vaccines in pregnancy, it was all pregnant women in Brazil, not just the women that had babies with microcephaly. They also received their vaccines between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, which is the official vaccine schedule for pregnant women in Brazil. (The CDC recommends women in the U.S. Also receive TDAP at this exact same time. Used to be right afterbirth, but then the mother isnt immune until your baby is 2 weeks old, and by doing it in late pregnancy, the baby inherits the antibodies, which the cdc says is important since the baby can't be vaccinated until they are 2 months old). Also, microcephaly, can be diagnosed at 18-20 weeks, well before the TDAP vaccine would be an option. So it's unlikely that the vaccine had anything to do with it. IF, it was the vaccine, it would have to be a bad batch of the vaccine, since pregnant women in the U.S. And other countries also now are recommended to get TDAP at 27-36 weeks and no other countries have reported increases in microcephaly.

I do firmly believe that everyone should make their own choices in regards to their vaccines, I'm not trying to start an argument, but just wanted to share.
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby elohcin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:31 am

Amanda0713 wrote:I really don't want to start a pro vs anti vaccination debate, but I wanted to chime in a little bit. Although the pregnant women in Brazil did receive TDAP vaccines in pregnancy, it was all pregnant women in Brazil, not just the women that had babies with microcephaly. They also received their vaccines between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, which is the official vaccine schedule for pregnant women in Brazil. (The CDC recommends women in the U.S. Also receive TDAP at this exact same time. Used to be right afterbirth, but then the mother isnt immune until your baby is 2 weeks old, and by doing it in late pregnancy, the baby inherits the antibodies, which the cdc says is important since the baby can't be vaccinated until they are 2 months old). Also, microcephaly, can be diagnosed at 18-20 weeks, well before the TDAP vaccine would be an option. So it's unlikely that the vaccine had anything to do with it. IF, it was the vaccine, it would have to be a bad batch of the vaccine, since pregnant women in the U.S. And other countries also now are recommended to get TDAP at 27-36 weeks and no other countries have reported increases in microcephaly.

I do firmly believe that everyone should make their own choices in regards to their vaccines, I'm not trying to start an argument, but just wanted to share.


While something is recommended, it doesn't make it safe, sadly. There has also been a lot of information released on the type and amount of pesticide exposure that the women were exposed to. And they question the GM mosquito population there. My point is basically that Zika has long been around, but we haven't seen the microcephaly issues until now. There's got to be an outside factor in play here.
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby Amanda0713 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:40 am

What I heard, but haven't researched enough to know if it's true, is that zika has been around since the 40s but in Asia and Africa. It didn't one to the Americas until the last couple years. In a region where zika had long been around, women are likely to get the virus as children and develop antibodies at that time so any future mosquito bites later in life or in pregnancy wouldn't affect them. The reason it's a problem in South America is because it just came to that region so the population was not exposed until now and therefore didn't already have antibodies.
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby elohcin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:53 am

Yes you're correct, they've been studying it for over 70 years now. Another interesting point is that the criteria they are using to determine the thousands of microcephaly cases in Brazil is a measurement that would put some 10% of American babies into the same category (which is like 400,000 babies or something like that...the FCM shows we already have 25,000 cases in the US each year that we just don't hear about). There was a study done in 2011 that shows one of the main pesticides they use there is associated with small babies with small heads. As for the vaccine though, it was mandated in late 2014 and 10 months later they were seeing their first cases of microcephaly. The Tdap is Class C in pregnancy, and I don't know many women who will take a Class C medicine while they're pregnant because of the possible risk, so that's saying something. I definitely think it's certainly worth considering that they effect of these things combined for these women could have certainly increased their risk.
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby inthemetro » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:32 am

I just wanted to chime in. Not to start a whole vaccine debate, but I think it's important to realize how incredibly dangerous whooping cough (one of the diseases the TDAP vaccine protects against) is for babies. Zika is in the news right now and is attracting all the attention as a threat to pregnant women, but whooping cough is on the rise, and for most of us in the US in and the UK, it's much more dangerous. In the United States, there were nearly 33,000 cases in 2014. Babies are one of the most at-risk groups for contracting whooping cough and for having the worst side effects: whooping cough can cause babies infected with it to stop breathing, become hospitalized, and worse. I know of no study or incidence where the vaccine has been linked to hurting pregnant women or babies, but the devastating effects of whooping cough on babies are unquestionable.
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby elohcin » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:59 am

inthemetro wrote:I just wanted to chime in. Not to start a whole vaccine debate, but I think it's important to realize how incredibly dangerous whooping cough (one of the diseases the TDAP vaccine protects against) is for babies. Zika is in the news right now and is attracting all the attention as a threat to pregnant women, but whooping cough is on the rise, and for most of us in the US in and the UK, it's much more dangerous. In the United States, there were nearly 33,000 cases in 2014. Babies are one of the most at-risk groups for contracting whooping cough and for having the worst side effects: whooping cough can cause babies infected with it to stop breathing, become hospitalized, and worse. I know of no study or incidence where the vaccine has been linked to hurting pregnant women or babies, but the devastating effects of whooping cough on babies are unquestionable.



Pertussis, specifically, is actually endemic. It is always around! Ask most doctors who've been practicing for many years. Here, they see it quite regularly. The pertussis vaccine has a very short efficacy period, around 2-5 years for most people, they are finding (the information used to say 5-10, but even then, that's not very long). The disease is actually VERY common in the elderly. But it's also very common among children and misdiagnosed (in which case you can VERY easily catch it from a vaccinated child, after all, they have been injected with it, while an unvaccinated one has not, so unless they've actually acquired the disease, they won't be spreading it). Many (MANY) of the people who've been diagnosed in the past several years are already vaccinated! I suppose it makes sense, if you have a vaccine you are 100% confident in, you're not going to consider it's failure. But I think you would agree that believing something will never fail is unwise. The biggest problem seems to be with the fact that the pertussis vaccine may help protect the person against disease, it doesn't actually prevent infection or transmission (CDC), and therefore the vaccinated population can still pick it up and pass it on, with little to no symptoms (which is the part the vaccine plays). Babies are most at risk from birth to around three months, and in that time, they'll have had one vaccine for it and therefore aren't even protected (if they will be one of the children who fully take to the vaccine), because it will not be effective at that point- it has been shown to be around 80% effective, on average, after about 3-4 doses, so as you can imagine, 1 dose is going to be little to nothing. (I can't recall where it was said, but they've stated that the vaccine program, aligned with "well baby checks", are simply to train the parents, as most vaccines aren't even effective until around 2 years of age. I think that's important to know so that us parents remember to be proactive in our children's health no matter what!) So this is where the virgin gut of a newborn baby is hugely important- allowing them to form that strong immune system so they can protect themselves.

Everybody keeps saying they don't want to turn it into a debate about vaccines, but by arguing the point that's essentially what is happening. It's not a bad thing though, it's our responsibility to fully understand both sides to the best of our ability because we can't make educated decisions for our families without learning the facts from every angle. Vaccines are a tricky thing. Medical advances are wonderful. However, anything man made will also have faults, specially when things are profit driven. One design in a lab simply isn't going to work the same way (if at all) for every unique individual (blanket treatment). If they did, the CDC could state that all the vaccines have a 100% efficacy rate and then of course no one would question them, everyone would finally be fully vaccinated, and that would be that. But unfortunately, that's not the case. There's also the fact that they bypass the first defenses of the immune system (like skin, mucus membranes, etc), and they contain foreign ingredients that could possibly trigger more problems in some people as the body isn't designed to deal with those things (and definitely not have them injected directly into the blood stream). Things you can't see coming until they're already here. Of course, if you have a family history of reactions (take, for example, the history of my husbands siblings and their children having seizures and the encephalitic cry regularly after their MMR shots) then you have a better glimpse into the possibilities, and that certainly needs to be considered.

My point is, yes, pertussis is scary. But the vaccine isn't foolproof, and can even work against us at times. We can't fully rely on something that has a failure rate, we have to be proactive with other measures as well. And studies are out there, you have to find them because the CDC sure isn't about to be putting them out there on their own. But they haven't done any controlled randomized double blind studies...they will argue that it's because it is unethical in some cases, but I have to wonder, if it is unethical to TEST them on us, how is it ethical to simply just GIVE them? Why do we have a vaccine injury court if there was no need for it? Why have millions of parents reported drastic changes in their babies and children after vaccines? (or even themselves...as it absolutely happens to adults as well)
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby inthemetro » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:35 am

You do raise key contexts about pertussis and the vaccine. The vaccine doesn't last very long, it doesn't work for everyone (we all know cases of people who can't get vaccinated--immune problems, etc.), and vaccinated people can lose their immunity and/or become carriers of the disease. Vaccines definitely aren't foolproof; I don't think anyone would say that they are. What they are saying, though, is that getting vaccinated is far safer than not getting vaccinated. By getting vaccinated during your pregnancy, it gives immunity to your baby before your baby can get his or her own vaccine--this is probably the important point.

I'd also add that the lack of studies on pregnant women and the vaccine is not because "they" are afraid to "test" the vaccine on pregnant women. In fact, it's because people are afraid to deny pregnant women vaccines. No ethics board would clear a double blind randomized controlled study of the TDAP vaccine on pregnant women (or on any other human, for that matter) because there's overwhelming scientific evidence and enormous medical consensus that the vaccine saves lives. Such a study would necessarily involve withholding the vaccine from a control group, which would be a gross violation of medical ethics.

I'd also just point out a red herring you threw in there-- "drastic changes in...babies and children after vaccines" is, I'm assuming, a reference to the alleged link between vaccines and autism. It's been so thoroughly and completely discredited I won't bother posting links (the journal that published the study on the subject withdrew it and wrote an apology and its author is in disgrace). The fact that often children manifest signs of autism around the time they receive vaccines is what in science is called a correlation, rather than a causation. And, as someone who has autistic people in my life, to be honest I find it quite offensive.
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby elohcin » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:04 pm

Actually, autism is rarely even on my radar. So no, that assumption is wrong. Moreso, things like autoimmune disorders are always what come to mind first (and that is a domino effect, as autoimmune can lead to pretty much every other problem out there- skin trouble, digestive havoc, thyroid problems, fertility issues, etc), not to mention things like asthma and diabetes. I'm not one who thinks these are just "everyday" things that we need to take in stride...there is some reason this is happening. Chronic health issues in our society are raising exponentially, and ironically or not, so are the vaccine recommendations. Heck, when I was a kid, we vaccinated for 7 diseases (23 doses). Now there are 14 vaccines (like 49 or some doses) by the age of 6, with 20 more doses by the time they reach adulthood. I don't mind if anyone else isn't concerned about that, but for the people who are, they have EVERY RIGHT to be. For me, as I've said, I definitely think vaccines have their place. However, I cannot look at the facts from all angles and say that vaccines are safer than the alternative. That simply does not make sense after everything I've learned over the last 12 years that health has become a huge priority to me (trust me, I couldn't have cared less about this stuff before LOL).

And I'm not only referring to testing on pregnant women, but there are no double blind placebo tests at ALL. (and we can't say babies absolutely do get the immunity from these vaccines- how many babies have titers done to prove this?) I disagree with you on some of those points, but again, it's a conversation worth being had. If you are absolutely comfortable with vaccines to all degrees, then that is great, you've made that decision and that is what we are all responsible for doing. But there are certainly noteworthy arguments on both sides, and neither is less valid than the other. Some can believe that vaccines are the sole reason for the current state of diseases in our country. Others can believe the statistics showing sanitation, cleaner living conditions, education on simple things like the effect of fresh air on illness, for example, are the reason the disease rates dropped dramatically before the introduction of the vaccines. Some will find an in-between that fits their family best. It's definitely an individual thing.
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Re: Zika Virus - Help!

Postby inthemetro » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:45 pm

Sorry about jumping prematurely on the autism point--I'm glad that wasn't what you were referring to. I would also say I don't think vaccines are the silver bullet either; they're important, but they're certainly not the only thing that's important in preventing disease. You're of course right that other factors have resulted in the decline of diseases. It of course depends on which disease and when--it'd be hard to look at, say, smallpox, without quickly realizing the role vaccines played in taming it; the decline of cholera, on the other hand, really is about sanitation. And anyway, it's always important to talk to your doctor; they'd be quick to tell you if you or your child is in the very small class of people for whom vaccines are dangerous and aren't recommended (particularly if you're suffering from immune issues!). Anyway, I suspect in person, we probably have strikingly similar outlooks on the importance of focusing on diet, exercise, etc. I wish that vaccinating your children was in fact just an issue people felt strongly about but really only affected your own family--like, say, cloth diapering versus disposable or screen time. The problem, of course, is that the more people who don't vaccinate, the more dangerous it is for people who can't vaccinate--not by choice, but by medical necessity.
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