Possible association between Zika Virus infection and microcephaly — Brazil, 2015
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Possible association between Zika Virus infection and microcephaly — Brazil, 2015

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  • English

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    • Journal Article:
      MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
    • Description:
      CDC has developed interim guidelines for health care providers in the United States caring for pregnant women during a Zika Virus outbreak. These guidelines include recommendations for pregnant women considering travel to an area with Zika Virus Transmission and recommendations for screening, tTesting, and management of pregnant returning travelers. Updates on areas with ongoing Zika Virus Transmission are available online (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/). Health care providers should ask all pregnant women about recent travel. Pregnant women with a History of travel to an area with Zika Virus Transmission and who report two or more symptoms consistent with Zika Virus disease (acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis) during or within 2 weeks of travel, or who have ultrasound findings of fetal microcephaly or intracranial calcifications, should be tested for Zika Virus infection in consultation with their state or local health department. Testing is not indicated for women without a travel History to an area with Zika Virus Transmission. In pregnant women with laboratory evidence of Zika Virus infection, serial ultrasound examination should be considered to monitor fetal growth and anatomy and referral to a maternal-fetal medicine or infectious disease specialist with expertise in pregnancy management is recommended. There is no specific antiviral treatment for Zika Virus; supportive care is recommended.

      Zika Virus is a mosquito-borne flaviVirus transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (1,2). These vectors also transmit dengue and chikungunya Virus and are found throughout much of the Americas, including parts of the United States An estimated 80% of persons infected with Zika Virus are asymptomatic (2,3). Symptomatic disease is generally mild and characterized by acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, or nonpurulent conjunctivitis. Symptoms usually last from several days to 1 week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon, and fatalities are rare. Guillain-Barré syndrome has been reported in patients following suspected Zika Virus infection (4–6).

      Pregnant women can be infected with Zika Virus in any trimester (4,7,8). The incidence of Zika Virus infection in pregnant women is not currently known, and data on pregnant women infected with Zika Virus are limited. No evidence exists to suggest that pregnant women are more susceptible to Zika Virus infection or experience more severe disease during pregnancy.

      Maternal-fetal Transmission of Zika Virus has been documented throughout pregnancy (4,7,8). Although Zika Virus RNA has been detected in the pathologic specimens of fetal losses (4), it is not known if Zika Virus caused the fetal losses. Zika Virus infections have been confirmed in infants with microcephaly (4), and in the current outbreak in Brazil, a marked increase in the number of infants born with microcephaly has been reported (9). However, it is not known how many of the microcephaly cases are associated with Zika Virus infection. Studies are under way to investigate the association of Zika Virus infection and microcephaly, including the role of other contributory factors (e.g., prior or concurrent infection with other organisms, nutrition, and environment). The full spectrum of outcomes that might be associated with Zika Virus infections during pregnancy is unknown and requires further investigation.

      Suggested citation for this article: Petersen EE, Staples JE, Meaney-Delman, D, et al. Interim Guidelines for Pregnant Women During a Zika Virus Outbreak — United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65(2):30–3.


      PMID: 26820244

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