Here's What You Need to Know About Managing Zika Virus

Here's What You Need to Know About Managing Zika Virus
Here's What You Need to Know About Managing Zika Virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed interim guidelines for pregnant women during a Zika virus outbreak. They include recommendations for pregnant women planning on traveling to an area with Zika virus transmission as well as screening, testing, and management recommendations for returning travelers who are pregnant. The report was published as a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Early Release.

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.  These vectors also transmit dengue and chikungunya virus and are found throughout much of the Americas, including parts of the United States. Disease symptoms (acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, conjunctivitis) are generally mild and can last from several days to a week; severe disease requiring hospitalization is rare.  Roughly 80% of those infected with Zika virus are asymptomatic.

Pregnant women may be infected with Zika virus in any trimester. There is limited data on pregnant women infected with Zika virus and there is no evidence to suggest that pregnant women have higher susceptibility to Zika virus infection or more severe disease. Healthcare professionals should ask all pregnant women about any recent travel. Those with a history of travel to an area with Zika virus transmission reporting two or more symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease during or within two weeks of travel, or who have ultrasound findings of fetal microcephaly or intracranial calcifications should be tested for Zika virus infection. In addition, the CDC has issued the following recommendations:

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