Boston hospitals report uptick in patients arriving with Zika worries

While the true impact the Zika virus will have on U.S. citizens remains to be seen, hospitals are reporting pregnant mothers concerned about their viral status and what they can do to prepare themselves in the event of Zika are increasingly reaching out, according to a report from The Boston Herald.

A growing number of patients at major Boston-area hospitals, such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, are worried about the virus' potential impact on their fetuses.

"There has been a huge uptick in consultations and ultrasound visits for Zika virus exposure and counseling of patients who are contemplating travel to Zika-endemic areas," Steve Ralston, MD, director of the division of maternal-fetal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told the Herald. "It takes a tremendous amount of manpower to counsel patients and infrastructure."

MGH is potentially dealing with a small pool of patients who have been exposed to Zika, Jeffrey Lawrence Ecker, MD, department chief of obstetrics and gynecology at the hospital, told the Herald. A Brigham and Women's spokesperson also told the Herald the hospital is on the lookout and testing patients who may be infected.

There have been 11 cases of travel-associated Zika virus in Massachusetts thus far, according to the CDC.

More articles on Zika:

Infographic: Where in the US have Zika cases been reported? [May 20 update] 
Scientists collaborate to form OpenZika, a project to find virus treatment 
Emergency Zika funds pass Senate with ease; contention likely in the House 

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