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Emma asked...

My partner and I are looking to book our honeymoon to Singapore and Bali in August this year and are concerned about Zika virus...

Hello, My partner and I are looking to book our honeymoon to Singapore and Bali in August this year and are concerned about Zika virus. After googling and not being able to get through to our doctor we are no more well informed on whether it's is safe to visit these countries if we are looking to try for a baby on/straight after the honeymoon. I have seen that you have to wait 8 weeks if you are a woman and 6 months if you are a man to try but is this only if you get bitten by a mosquito?! Really confused and hope you can help! Many thanks

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The answer

Thank you for contacting us with your question on Zika Virus transmission. As you may be aware Indonesia ( including Bali) and Singapore have been subjected to what is known as a level two public health alert since last October due to a Zika Virus outbreak that has occurred in their populations and remains ongoing.

The current advice as you correctly state for people travelling to any region including Singapore and Bali which has a Zika Outbreak and are planning to become pregnant either during that time or soon after is ideally to avoid travelling to the area unless it is essential- therefore you may like to reconsider your choice of honeymoon destination. If you do decide to go ahead and book to travel to Singapore and Bali then it will be necessary for you to wait eight weeks after returning before trying for a baby and unfortunately your partner would need to refrain from trying for a baby for six months as you have read. This is because Scientists have discovered that the Zika Virus can remain active in a mans’ sperm for up to six months and could be transmitted to the baby if conception were to occur during that time. This advice is aimed at any one who has had Zika Virus exposure or who has had unprotected sex with some one who has or thinks they may have had exposure.

Obviously in such situations were you to fall pregnant during your honey moon and then be exposed to the Zika Virus by a mosquito bite on your last day for example you could find yourself in a very difficult situation regarding your pregnancy which is obviously not a risk you would want to take. We are enclosing some links for you with this answer regarding protecting against mosquito bites which you may find useful to read as well. Unfortunately the only real way to guarantee a pregnancy free of the risk of microcephaly and its effects on the development and health of your baby is going to be avoidance of the places where Zika virus is active.

Mosquito bite prevention - CDC

Information for travellers - Zika virus

Good Luck with this and if we can be of any further help please don’t hesitate to contact us,

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses