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Pregnant Women Living Near the US-Mexico Border

How should healthcare providers assess pregnant women who live near the United States-Mexico border?

The United States-Mexico border region is unique in that many people move fluidly and regularly (for example, daily, weekly) between the two countries to live, work, attend school, socialize, and seek medical care. Those who live in the border area may not regard movement between border cities or states as “travel.” This context should be considered when asking women about travel history and potential exposure to Zika.

Zika virus transmission has been reported in Mexico, and the mosquitoes that spread Zika are found on both sides of the United States-Mexico border. Healthcare providers caring for pregnant women who live near the border should assess their patients’ (and their partners’) travel history, including frequency of border crossing and length of stay in Mexico. For pregnant women who travel across the border regularly, healthcare providers should follow CDC’s guidelines for pregnant women residing in areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission, including testing recommendations [PDF - 1 page] as well as guidance from their respective state and local health authorities.

Men who travel across the border and have a pregnant partner should abstain from sex with their partner or use condoms for the duration of the pregnancy. Both men and women who live in the border region who are planning pregnancy should be counseled about Zika risk based on the most recent information on mosquito activity and Zika cases from the state and local health departments.