Introduction / Zika Virus – Paul Miller, M.D., F.A.A.P.

I am Dr. Paul Miller and I’m incredibly excited to have joined the exceptional staff at Weissbluth Pediatrics.
paul miller 2
I’m originally from Orangeburg, NY, a suburb of NYC. I
came to Chicago in 1990 for my Pediatric Residency at Children’s Memorial Hosp., now Lurie Children’s Hospital. I have been practicing Pediatrics for nearly 20 years in the Bronzeville neighborhood and have worked at multiple hospitals in addition to Lurie. When not practicing Pediatrics I am a trumpet player and can be found playing Jazz at the Old Town School of Folk Music or Music Institute of Chicago. I also am a parent to a lovely 7 year old daughter Julia and enjoy spending time learning from her too!
This week’s topic is one that I have received some questions about from families concerning the emerging infection of Zika virus. Zika is a mosquito-borne infection in the same family as Dengue fever (Breakbone fever) and Chikungunya. Zika was first described in Uganda in 1947 and has recently spread to the Americas. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pains and headache although only 1 in 5 infections are symptomatic.
Treatment is supportive; there is currently no vaccine. The most dreaded concern with Zika is the emerging relation between infection during pregnancy and small head size/developmental delay (microcephaly) in the fetus. Risk is worst in the 1st Trimester. Pregnant women may wish to avoid travel to areas of viral activity including countries in South and Central America as well as the Caribbean and Samoa in the Pacific. See the cdc map for the latest recommendations. Zika should not pose a threat to most children.  Prevention is to limit exposure to mosquito bites.
To Your Health,
Paul Miller
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2 thoughts on “Introduction / Zika Virus – Paul Miller, M.D., F.A.A.P.

  1. Thank you for posting this as this discussion has just come up with my family. We are planning to travel to St. Martin in a month and there have been active cases reported there. I am not currently expecting but I have seen some info that women should avoid conceiving for two years after they have travelled to an area with active cases of the Zika vrius. Is this true? Should our family reconsider our trip (we have a 7 month old).
    Thank you!

  2. Hi Dr. Paul, nice to meet you! We will be traveling to Mexico in March (Juniper is staying here with Grandma and Grandpa!), and both Justin and I plan to be as proactive as possible to reduce exposure to this virus and to mosquitos in general, but I had a question surrounding both breastfeeding and future pregnancies as it relates to Zika. I plan to pump while abroad – if I do contract Zika, will this milk be safe (and milk once I start nursing again upon my return home)? Also, has this been shown to affect future pregnancies? If I contract the virus, and let’s say we conceive again in a year’s time, is there any chance of complications that has been shown? Thank you so much!

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