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The following CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory message was issued January 15, 2016. You are receiving this information because you subscribe to COCA email updates. If a colleague forwarded this email to you, yet you would like to receive future updates directly from COCA, click here.
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On behalf of the Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA)
This is an official
CDC HEALTH ADVISORY
Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network
Friday, January 15, 2016, 19:45 EST (7:45 PM EST)
Recognizing, Managing, and Reporting Zika Virus Infections in Travelers Returning from Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico
Local transmission of Zika virus has not been documented in the continental United States. However, Zika virus infections have been reported in travelers returning to the United States. With the recent outbreaks in the Americas, the number of Zika virus disease cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States likely will increase. These imported cases may result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the continental United States, meaning these imported cases may result in human-to-mosquito-to-human spread of the virus.
Zika virus infection should be considered in patients with acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia or conjunctivitis, who traveled to areas with ongoing transmission in the two weeks prior to illness onset. Clinical disease usually is mild. However, during the current outbreak, Zika virus infections have been confirmed in several infants with microcephaly and in fetal losses in women infected during pregnancy. We do not yet understand the full spectrum of outcomes that might be associated with infection during pregnancy, nor the factors that might increase risk to the fetus. Additional studies are planned to learn more about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.
Healthcare providers are encouraged to report suspected Zika virus disease cases to their state health department to facilitate diagnosis and to mitigate the risk of local transmission. State health departments are requested to report laboratory-confirmed cases to CDC. CDC is working with states to expand Zika virus laboratory testing capacity, using existing RT-PCR protocols.
This CDC Health Advisory includes information and recommendations about Zika virus clinical disease, diagnosis, and prevention, and provides travel guidance for pregnant women and women who are trying to become pregnant. Until more is known and out of an abundance of caution, pregnant women should consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who do travel to these areas should talk to their doctors or other healthcare providers first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip. Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare providers before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
There is no commercially available test for Zika virus. Zika virus testing is performed at the CDC Arbovirus Diagnostic Laboratory and a few state health departments. CDC is working to expand laboratory diagnostic testing in states, using existing RT-PCR protocols. Healthcare providers should contact their state or local health department to facilitate testing.
Recommendations for Health Care Providers and Public Health Practitioners
For More Information
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Categories of Health Alert Network messages:
Health Alert Requires immediate action or attention; highest level of importance
Health Advisory May not require immediate action; provides important information for a specific incident or situation
Health Update Unlikely to require immediate action; provides updated information regarding an incident or situation
HAN Info Service Does not require immediate action; provides general public health information