ATLANTA, March 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says women exposed to Zika should wait two months before attempting to become pregnant.
The new guidelines, released Friday, state women who have been exposed — which means traveling to South American countries where the disease is rampant — should only have protected sex for at least two months, whether they have experienced symptoms consistent with Zika or not. Men who have traveled to the region should not have unprotected sex for at least six months.
The CDC continues to advise women living in the affected South American countries to consult a doctor before attempting conception.
The virus is primarily spread through infected mosquitos but is also able to be transmitted through sexual contact in humans.
Symptoms common in individuals infected with Zika include fever, rash and soreness. The disease is relatively harmless to adults but has shown to cause serious birth defects in women infected who become pregnant.