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Category: Public health

Zika Virus – FAQ

What is Zika virus?

Zika virus is a mild febrile illness caused by a mosquito-borne virus similar to those that cause dengue and West Nile virus infection. It has been identified in several countries in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean since 2015. Outbreaks have previously been reported in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Local transmission has been reported in Puerto Rico and now in Florida.

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Pregnancy and Vaccinations

Vaccination is one of the many ways to help keep both mother and baby safe from disease. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend that all women, including those pregnant and breastfeeding, receive both the influenza and Tdap vaccine at every pregnancy, which will protect both mother and newborn. If you have not received these important vaccines, please call our office today.

There seems to be a lot of misinformation on the internet. To better inform you with scientifically sound answers to questions about the safety of vaccines and the importance of vaccinations please visit the following websites, from national non-profit organizations:

www.vaccinateyourbaby.org

www.immunizationforwomen.org

Center for Disease Control (Seasonal Flu Vaccine Safety and Pregnant Women)

This is somewhat long, but here are some frequently asked questions about each vaccine:

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Guide to Breast Health

Detection

As part of your annual exam a breast exam should be performed by a professional. Breast self-exam is now considered optional. If you are comfortable doing it and it does not create anxiety, you should examine once a month AFTER your menses or anytime if menopausal. Studies show limited benefit in self-exam in women who get examined by a professional and who do routine screening, so do what you feel is right for you.

Screening Mammograms (x-ray) should begin at age 40, then every 1-2 years until age 50 then annually. This applies to average risk women and can be modified in high risk women such as genetic carriers, or with and extremely high risk family history.  Most screening mammograms do not need to be ordered by a provider and are generally covered by insurers if done at appropriate ages and intervals.

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