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Healthcare Providers Caring for Pregnant Women

Special Notice – March 13, 2017

CDC provides an update on potential increased risk of Zika virus exposure from semen

Because of Zika virus transmission in Miami-Dade County, FL, evidence concerning the persistence of Zika virus in semen1, ongoing concern about undiagnosed asymptomatic infections, challenges associated with defining sources of exposure, and concern that male residents of Broward and Palm Beach counties may have traveled to areas in Miami-Dade County2, there is a small potential risk of Zika virus transmission associated with exposure to semen from male residents in the Florida tri-county area of Miami Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward counties since June 15, 2016 (the start date for the first CDC health advisory3).

In consultation with their healthcare providers, women and their partners should take this potential risk into consideration when trying to conceive. Additionally, healthcare providers should counsel pregnant women who might be exposed to semen from men potentially infected with Zika virus about this risk and consult existing CDC guidance for evaluating and caring for them.

See CDC’s current guidance for residents and visitors to Miami-Dade County.
See more information on blood and tissue safety in the United States


  • CDC recommends that pregnant women should not travel to areas with risk of Zika virus infection. This includes all areas with documented or likely Zika virus transmission (see WHO categories for more information). If a pregnant woman must travel to one of these areas, she should be counseled to strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites and prevent sexual transmission during and after the trip.
  • Symptomatic pregnant women with possible Zika exposure should be tested for Zika virus infection. Possible Zika exposure includes people who live in or have recently traveled to an area with documented or likely Zika virus transmission, or who have had sex without a condom with a partner (male or female) who lives in or has traveled to an area with risk of Zika virus infection.
  • Testing recommendations for asymptomatic pregnant women with possible Zika exposure differ depending on where they traveled.

Featured Tools

Screening and Testing

Zika Screening Tool for pregnant women fact sheet thumbnail

Use these tools to evaluate pregnant women for Zika exposure and determine whether testing is needed.


Testing by Location

Zika Global Recommendations

See Zika testing recommendations for pregnant women based on geographic location.


Testing by Location

CDC Zika Testing Recommendations for Pregnant Women

See Zika testing recommendations for pregnant women based on geographic location.


Patient Materials

Updated Interim Pregnancy Guidance: Testing and interpretation recommendations for a pregnant woman with possible exposure to Zika virus

Use these materials when counseling pregnant patients.



1Zika virus RNA can persist in semen for up to 6 months and therefore any men with any travel to Miami-Dade County could transmit the virus through semen (sexually or donated) for 6 months after onset of infection. Paz-Bailey G, Rosenberg ES, Doyle K, Munoz-Jordan J, Santiago GA, Klein L, Perez-Padilla J, Medina FA, Waterman SH, Gubern CG, Alvarado LI, Sharp TM. Persistence of Zika Virus in Body Fluids – Preliminary Report. N Engl J Med. 2017; Feb 14. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1613108. [Epub ahead of print]

2People move fluidly and regularly between Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach to live, work, attend school, shop, socialize, and seek medical care.  These individuals may not regard these activities as travel.

3CDC Guidance for Travel and Testing of Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age for Zika Virus Infection Related to the Investigation for Local Mosquito-borne Zika Virus Transmission in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, Florida