CDC Emergency Partners Newsletter - Special Zika Virus Edition - April 15, 2016


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Emergency Partners Newsletter

ZIKA VIRUS - SPECIAL EDITION 

April 15, 2016


Zika virus (Zika) outbreaks are occurring in many countries and territories. Please share the following information with those who may find it useful.


Table of Contents


Types of Transmission

Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). To date, Zika has not been spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States. However, lab tests have confirmed Zika virus in travelers returning to the United States from areas with Zika. Zika virus can also be spread during sex by a man infected with Zika to his male or female partnersSome non-travelers in the United States have become infected with Zika through sex with a traveler.

With the recent outbreaks in the Americas, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase. CDC is not able to predict how much Zika virus would spread in the continental United States. Many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus. However, recent outbreaks in the continental United States of chikungunya and dengue, which are spread by the same type of mosquito, have been relatively small and limited to a small area.

Not having sex is the only way to prevent sexual transmission of Zika. Couples with men who live in or travel to areas with Zika can prevent the spread of Zika by using condoms every time they have sex, or by not having sex. To be effective, condoms must be used correctly (warning: this link contains sexually graphic images) from start to finish, every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral (mouth-to-penis) sex.

Birth Defects

Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. Zika infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly, a severe birth defect that is a sign of a problem with brain development, and other severe brain defects.

In addition to microcephaly, other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as hearing deficits and impaired growth. Although Zika virus has been linked with these other problems in infants, there is more to learn. Researchers are collecting data to better understand the extent of Zika virus’ impact on pregnant women and their birth outcomes.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an uncommon sickness of the nervous system in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerve cells, causing muscle weakness, and sometimes, paralysis.

  • The Brazil Ministry of Health has reported an increased number of people who have been infected with Zika virus who also have GBS.
  •  GBS is very likely triggered by Zika in a small proportion of infections, much as it is after a variety of other infections.
  • CDC is investigating the link between Zika and GBS.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)

Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms. The sickness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.

Treatment

There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

The following steps can reduce the symptoms of Zika:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Take medicine, such as acetaminophen, to reduce fever and pain. 
  • Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding. 
  • If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

To prevent others from getting sick, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the first week of illness. See your doctor or other healthcare provider if you develop symptoms.

Prevention

The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Treat your clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.

To learn more, please visit CDC's Zika virus page.


Announcements

CDC welcomes suggestions and feedback. If you would like to comment on any of these announcements or send us suggestions, including suggestions for new content, please contact us as emergencypartners@cdc.gov.

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    CDC Concludes Zika Causes Microcephaly and Other Brain Defects

    microcephaly

    Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have concluded, after careful review of existing evidence, that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. In the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the CDC authors describe a rigorous weighing of evidence using established scientific criteria.

    “This study marks a turning point in the Zika outbreak.  It is now clear that the virus causes microcephaly.  We are also launching further studies to determine whether children who have microcephaly born to mothers infected by the Zika virus is the tip of the iceberg of what we could see in damaging effects on the brain and other developmental problems,” said Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC. “We’ve now confirmed what mounting evidence has suggested, affirming our early guidance to pregnant women and their partners to take steps to avoid Zika infection and to health care professionals who are talking to patients every day. We are working to do everything possible to protect the American public.”  

    For more information, please read CDC's media statement.

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    Sesame Street: "Bye-Bye Zika" PSAs

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    Sesame Street PSA 1
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    Sesame Street PSA 2

    Click the screenshots to view Sesame Street PSAs for Zika prevention! These PSAs are also available in Spanish (PSA 1 & PSA 2) and Portuguese (PSA 2).


    Communication Tips

    CERC logo

    Crisis and emergency risk communication (CERC) principles can be used for a range of crises, including those caused by infectious diseases like Zika virus. Immediate and credible guidance can teach people to identify risks and protect themselves from illness.

    For more information, please visit our CERC website and refer to Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication, 2014 Edition.

    Have you used CERC in your work? To share your CERC stories, e-mail cercrequest@cdc.gov. Your stories may appear in future CERC Corners.

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    Online Resources

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    Stay Connected

    These social media messages are available so that you can share on your organization's social media accounts.

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    Because of the link between Zika and microcephaly, a birth defect, pregnant women should take steps to prevent mosquito bites, including covering up arms and legs and using an EPA-registered insect repellent. Learn more. 1.usa.gov/223s8F0

    Facebook large

    Zika can be passed from an infected man during sex. Use latex condoms, the right way, every time or do not have any type of sex with a male partner who has been in an area with Zika, especially if pregnant. Learn more. 1.usa.gov/223s8F0

    Twitter Logo

    Important #Zika development @NEJM. Never in humans have we seen illness spread by mosquitoes linked to birth defect.

    Twitter Logo

    DYK? Mosquitoes that spread Zika usually don’t live above 6,500 ft. Check our travel notices to learn more: http://go.usa.gov/cvQwR

     

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    Social Media Partner Resources

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    Contact Us

    Email: EmergencyPartners@cdc.gov

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333

    Questions?

    Contact CDC-INFO

    800-CDC-INFO    (800-232-4636)    TTY: 888-232-6348

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