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Zika Virus Update 2016

Zika is a viral disease spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), perinatal, in utero, and possible sexual and transfusion transmission events have also been reported. Local transmission of Zika virus has not been documented in the continental United States. Zika virus infections have, although, been reported in travelers returning to the U.S.

The illness is usually mild and symptoms typically last several days to a week. However, Zika virus infections have been confirmed in several infants with microcephaly and in fetal losses in women infected during pregnancy. Additional studies are planned to learn more about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

Zika Virus Quick Facts:
  • Transmission
    • Mosquito is the primary risk; transmission through other modes of transmission is uncommon
    • Through sexual contact with someone already infected
    • From mother to baby during pregnancy or birth
    • Through blood
  • Potential Symptoms - presenting in patients who traveled to areas with ongoing transmission in the two weeks prior to illness onset
    • Acute onset of fever
    • Maculopapular rash
    • Arthralgia
    • Conjuctivitis
  • Prevention
    • Currently, there is no vaccine for Zika virus
    • Precautions should be taken when traveling to high risk locations to prevent mosquito bites
    • Infections may be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites through using mosquito repellent and wearing protective clothing
  • Testing
    • There are no commercially available diagnostic tests for Zika virus

Updated Guidelines

On February 5, 2016, the CDC issued the following interim guidelines on Zika virus:

CDC - Interim Guidelines for Preventing Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus

CDC - Updated Interim Guidelines for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure  

Helpful Resources

CDC - What's New on Zika Virus

CDC - Advisory on Zika Virus Infections in Travelers Returning from Central/South America, Caribbean, and Mexico

CDC - Questions and Answers: Zika Virus Infection (Zika) and Pregnancy