Washington, DC—Mark S. DeFrancesco, MD, MBA, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement regarding the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) paper addressing Zika virus:
"Today, the CDC published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine that, for the first time, refers to Zika virus as causing microcephaly and other birth defects, whereas previously it was only presumed to be associated. This is important new information, and we thank the CDC for its tireless work in helping doctors to better understand the risks associated with this virus outbreak.
"Our previous recommendations regarding how to prevent and avoid Zika virus infection and transmission remain in place. Obstetrician-gynecologists should be prepared to counsel their patients regarding the importance of postponing travel to affected areas if they are planning to become pregnant or if they are pregnant, as well as the potential need to delay pregnancy with appropriate use of contraception if women live in affected areas or if travel to these areas cannot be avoided. Ob-gyns should also be up-to-date with the emerging evidence regarding sexual transmission of the virus.
"The message of the CDC paper underscores the importance of ongoing research into this outbreak. We once again encourage Congress to act swiftly to pass emergency funding to enhance our public health preparedness and enable America’s researchers to lead the charge in the development of a vaccine or treatment for this virus. Ongoing support for Zika virus research will protect American families and, indeed, families around the world."
For more information, please visit www.acog.org/zika.
A joint statement with FLASOG and SOGC regarding the importance of contraception can be found here.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 57,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org