Zikv on the US-Mexico Border: Analysis of Preventive Actions Taken By Pregnant and Inter-Conception Women

Acquah-Baidoo B, McDonald J, Katherine S, Amatya A, Lynch S and Dankwah Robert OK

Published on: 2021-02-26



Along the US-Mexico border, women may be at higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes due to high unintended pregnancy rates, prevalence of Aedes species mosquitoes, and frequent travel to Zika Virus (ZikV) endemic areas. This research assesses ZikV preventive actions among low-income women across seven border counties, served by five collaborating Healthy Start programs.


In late 2016, we surveyed 326 pregnant and inter-conception women to assess actions taken to prevent ZikV. Variables used include demographic factors, helpful sources of information, and preventive actions (avoid travel, avoid sex/use condoms, avoid mosquito bites and clinical).  Chi-square tests were used to identify important associations between variables. Log binomial regression analysis was used to estimate adjusted relative risk (ARR) and associated 95%.


Most (63.9%) of 305 women who had heard of ZikV reported ≥ 1 preventive actions. Taking a preventive action was associated with age (31+ years; ARR=1.45, 95% CI:1.17-1.79), and higher education (above high school diploma; ARR=1.25, 95% CI: 1.02-1.54). Women who reported healthcare professionals (HCP) as a helpful information source were more likely to avoid sex/use condoms (ARR=2.38, 95% CI: 1.03-5.53) and take clinical action (ARR = 3.13, 95% CI: 1.30-7.54).


Interventions should focus on improving access to health care services along the border. Also, more emphasis should be put on HCP’s taking a leading role in educating women on ZikV prevention.