ACOG: Standard Precautions Can Help Reduce Zika Transmission Risk

New case of Zika linked to high viral load highlights importance of research into Zika transmission
New case of Zika linked to high viral load highlights importance of research into Zika transmission

HealthDay News — A new case of Zika virus infection associated with a very high Zika viral load has renewed attention to Zika transmission, according to the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG).

Hal C. Lawrence, MD, the executive vice president and chief executive officer of ACOG, released a statement relating to a new case of Zika virus, identified in Utah. The case was associated with a very high Zika viral load.

Lawrence notes that the case highlights the importance of research into Zika virus transmission. In addition, the case emphasizes the importance of adherence to standard precautions, especially during labor and delivery. Health care providers should be aware of the potential for viral transmission through bodily fluid. Since women with Zika virus may be asymptomatic, all obstetric staff should have access to and adhere to all safety precautions, including hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, safe injection practices, and safe handling of potentially contaminated equipment or surfaces.

"Although there are no reports of transmission of Zika virus from infected patients to health care personnel or other patients, minimizing exposures to bodily fluids is important to reduce the possibility of such transmission without compromising the care provided to women during childbirth," Lawrence said in the statement. "ACOG joins the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in emphasizing the importance of these precautions."

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