DETROIT (WWJ) – Expectant mothers in Michigan now have more resources when it comes to dealing with the Zika virus.

The Detroit Medical Center’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Department has launched the only Zika virus hotline in Michigan to assist expectant mothers with a history of travel to Zika affected regions and their health care providers, obtain virus testing.

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Access the DMC Zika Virus Hotline by calling 1-888-DMC-3370.

The nurse-managed hotline is designed to aid pregnant patients and their providers with determining short-term and long-term testing and follow-up care. It’s available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Health care providers are also encouraged to use the hotline if they have a patient suspected of Zika exposure.

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According to the Center for Disease Control, there have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with the Zika virus while pregnant.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Zika virus was found for the first time in the Americas in May 2015. Currently, a large outbreak is ongoing in the region including South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and U.S. citizens travelling to these regions are at risk for infection.

There’s no vaccine for the virus, which primarily spreads through bites from a mosquito. Many people infected don’t get sick. Some experience mild illness with symptoms including fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.

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