By Julie Beck
“We don’t know how to prevent Zika, but we do know how to prevent pregnancy,” says Christopher Zahn, the vice president of practice at The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Birth control can’t keep you from getting Zika, but Zika in adults is not that bad. You get a fever, joint pain, a rash, and red eyes (if you get symptoms at all, which most don’t). Some adults do come down with the autoimmune syndrome Guillain-Barré, but while the exact percentage isn’t known, the risk of getting it seems very low. It’s not the adults who need the most protection. The greatest risk is for children born to mothers who get Zika while pregnant—miscarriage and a range of birth defects, including microcephaly, are possible. (As of Thursday, seven babies have been born in the U.S. with Zika-related birth defects.)
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