Pregnant nurse concerned about Zika virus - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Pregnant nurse concerned about Zika virus

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)

Heather Garrison is a registered nurse and resident of Trinity, but her best title is that of mom.  She has two boys and is six months pregnant with her daughter.

She has a concern about the Zika Virus.   

"We live at the ball field, because both of my boys play baseball right now," said Garrison. "So it's definitely in the back of my mind.  And I talked to my OB doctor and she said to use "Deet Free" bug spray."

She said she feels better about being further along in her pregnancy.  

"Most of what I've read and talked to my doctor about, the increased risk is in the first trimester for the Microcephaly. So that I'm not as concerned about. But the thing with the Zika virus is they don't know," said Garrison.

Because she's a nurse by trade we also asked her about the possibility of her drawing blood or any other body fluids.  

"You're taught in nursing school to treat everyone as if they have an infectious disease. Use the same precautions on any patient," explained Garrison.

She said she also worked in the emergency room while pregnant in the past.

The Alabama Department of Public Health's Assistant Health Officer, Dr. Scott Harris is an expert in infectious diseases who said the primary transmission is by mosquito's.    

"There certainly is evidence of sexual transmission," said Harris. "There is some suggestion in parts of the world, and Brazil especially, that it's been transmitted through blood transmissions, so it could certainly be transmitted to a health care worker through a needle stick I suppose.  We don't know much about that. That certainly doesn't seem to be a big problem."

Garrison said while she is concerned about the virus there are still family activities she looks forward to.   

"I'm not missing my boys ballgames so we'll just be more precautious and this summer we will probably not go camping like we have in the past," said Garrison.

So what about blood testing before donation?  Harris said it's not that far away.   

"They are just starting to do that. They've come out with some preliminary ways to screen for that. That's going to become a big issue very soon.  As we know....testing right now is still being done by CDC," explained Harris.

He said other groups are also looking at testing possibilities.

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