The impression given by the news media is that Zika belongs solely to poverty-stricken third-world countries. The state has covered travel-imported cases in the United States only and only regarding numbers. Essentially, this coverage has led the United States citizenry to believe that the illness is benign except in the case of pregnancy. Young women who are pregnant seem to be the most at risk, while men have nothing to worry about. The news agencies have covered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines regarding travel restrictions for pregnant women. Little to no coverage has focused on other complications affecting all ages, races and sexes.
The Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the Flaviviridae virus family and the Flavivirus genus.
In humans, ZIKV causes a mild illness known as Zika virus infection, Zika fever, Zika or Zika disease. Since the 1950s, it had been known to occur within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia. In 2007, the virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean to Micronesia, French Polynesia, and Easter Island. In 2015 it spread to South and Central America, where the Zika outbreak reached pandemic levels and then spread to the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. Travel-related cases have been reported worldwide in countries including the United States, Great Britain, Ireland and France, to name just a few.
Zika virus infection is similar to a mild form of dengue fever. Treatment is supportive and currently cannot be prevented by medications or vaccines.
Zika virus infection is related to yellow fever and West Nile disease, which are caused by other arthropod-borne flaviviruses. Possible complications from Zika virus infection include Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly.
In January 2016, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued travel guidance on affected countries, including the use of enhanced precautions, considering postponing travel and guidelines for pregnant women. Other governments or health agencies soon issued similar travel warnings, while Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica advised women to postpone getting pregnant until more was known about the risks.
Mosquito-borne flaviviruses are thought to initially replicate in dendritic cells near the site of inoculation, followed by spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream, although information regarding the pathogenesis of ZIKV is scarce. Although flaviviral replication is thought to occur in cellular cytoplasm, one study suggested that ZIKV antigens could be found in infected cell nuclei. Today, infectious ZIKV has been detected in human blood as early as the day of illness onset. Viral nucleic acid has been detected as late as 11 days after illness onset.
The Zika virus is transmitted by daytime-active mosquitoes and has been isolated from a number of species in the genus Aedes. Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Aedes albopictus mosquitoes also might transmit the virus. A. aegypti and A. albopictus mosquitoes are found throughout much of the Region of the Americas, including parts of the United States, and also transmit dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and West Nile viruses.
Studies show that the extrinsic incubation period for ZIKV in mosquitoes is about 10 days. Nonhuman (monkeys) and human primates are likely the main reservoirs of the virus, and anthroponotic (human-to-vector-to-human) transmission occurs during outbreaks.
The Zika virus is transmitted to humans primarily via the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes become infected when they bite an already infected individual, draw blood and contract the Zika virus. The Zika virus then spreads when the infected mosquito bites another individual.
Aedes mosquitoes typically breed and lay eggs in or near domestic water-holding containers (i.e., buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots, vases, etc.). They are aggressive daytime biters, prefer to bite humans and live indoors and outdoors near humans.
The potential societal risk of the Zika virus can be delimited by the distribution of the mosquito species that transmit it (its vectors). The global distribution of the most cited carrier of Zika virus, A. aegypti, is expanding due to global trade and travel (Figure 4). A. aegypti distribution is now the most extensive ever recorded – across all continents, including North America and even the European periphery.
Global Aedes Aegypti Predicted Distribution (Figure 4)
The map depicts the probability of occurrence:
blue = none
red = highest occurrence
Evidence of perinatal transmission of the Zika virus during pregnancy or childbirth is limited. Pregnant women can be infected with the Zika virus in any trimester. The incidence of Zika virus infection in pregnant women is currently unknown. Data on pregnant women infected with the Zika virus are limited. No evidence suggests pregnant women are susceptible to Zika virus infection or experience more severe disease during pregnancy (BBC, 2016).
It is possible that the Zika virus could be passed from a mother already infected with the Zika virus to the fetus during pregnancy. Perinatal transmission has been reported with other vector-borne viruses such as dengue and chikungunya. Studies are now being conducted on the possible perinatal transmission of the virus and its possible effects on the fetus.
So far, there are no documented reports of Zika virus transmission via breastfeeding. Zika virus RNA has been detected in breast milk, but Zika virus transmission through breastfeeding has not been documented. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where the Zika virus is found. Mothers in areas with Zika circulation should follow PAHO/WHO recommendations on breastfeeding (exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding with complementary foods up to 2 years and beyond) (BBC, 2016).
ZIKV can be transmitted through blood, but this is an infrequent mechanism. Zika virus RNA has been identified in asymptomatic blood donors during an ongoing outbreak. Standard precautions that are already in place for ensuring safe blood donations and transfusions should be followed.
ZIKV has been isolated in human semen.
Given the increase in congenital anomalies, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and other neurological and autoimmune syndromes in areas where the Zika virus is circulating, the PAHO and WHO recommends its Member States:
In its typical form, GBS is an acute polyradiculoneuropathy that produces a lower, bilateral, symmetrical sensorimotor development deficit associated with generalized areflexia. In many cases, there is a history of infection that causes the immune response in the nerves. Between 3.5 and 12% of patients die from complications during the acute phase. The annual incidence of GBS is estimated to be between 0.4 and 4.0 cases per 100,000 inhabitants yearly. In North America and Europe, GBS is more common in adults and increases steadily with age. Several studies indicate that men tend to be more affected than women.
GBS occurs when an individual's immune system attacks itself, particularly affecting the cells of the nervous system. This process can be initiated by infection with various viruses or bacteria. The main symptoms include muscular weakness and tingling (paresthesia) in the arms and legs. Severe complications can occur if the respiratory muscles are affected. The most seriously ill individuals need care in intensive care units.
Zika virus can cause other neurological syndromes (meningitis, meningoencephalitis and myelitis). The French Polynesian Health Authorities also reported an unusual increase in central nervous system abnormalities in fetuses and newborns registered during 2013 – 2014. This finding coincided with the Zika virus outbreak in the islands. None of the pregnant women described clinical signs of the Zika virus, but four women were found positive by IgM serology assays for flavivirus, suggesting a possible asymptomatic Zika virus infection.
The French Polynesian Health Authorities hypothesize that Zika virus infection may be associated with these abnormalities if mothers are infected during the first or second trimester of pregnancy.
World Health Organization (WHO) advises its Member States to implement or intensify surveillance of neurological and autoimmune complications in all age groups, particularly in situations of possible ZIKV circulation. This surveillance can be established as hospital-based, syndromic surveillance, or surveillance of cases. If case surveillance is implemented, a case definition should include GBS, Fisher syndrome, encephalitis, meningitis, and meningoencephalitis.
Fisher syndrome (or Miller Fisher syndrome) is characterized by impaired eye movements, abnormal coordination and loss of tendon reflexes. While the clinical triad (ataxia, ophthalmoplegia and areflexia) is easily recognizable, sometimes it overlaps with GBS, so some authors consider it a variant of GBS, associated with an autoimmune inflammation of nerves after an infection.
While in the Region of the Americas, such syndromes have not yet been reported, health services and practitioners should be alert to their possible occurrence to properly prepare health facilities for rapid detection and appropriate treatment of cases.
Microcephaly is a neurological disorder in which the occipitofrontal circumference is smaller than that of other children of the same age, race and sex. Maternal-fetal transmission of the Zika virus has been documented throughout pregnancy. Zika virus infection has been confirmed in several infants with congenital microcephaly and in fetal losses among women infected during pregnancy. The spectrum of outcomes associated with infection during pregnancy is not yet fully understood, nor are the factors that may increase fetal risk.
A large number of Brazilian newborns with microcephaly have been observed in parallel with the current Zika outbreak. It is unknown how many microcephaly cases are associated with Zika virus infection. Studies are being conducted to investigate the association between 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 associated with Zika virus infections during pregnancy is unknown and requires further investigation (ECDPC, 2015).
Brazilian Health Authorities have confirmed that newborns of mothers who had a Zika virus infection during the first trimester of pregnancy are at an increased risk of microcephaly or other congenital anomalies (ECDPC, 2015).
Zika virus infections have been confirmed in infants with microcephaly, although it is unknown how many microcephaly cases are associated with Zika virus infection. Furthermore, Zika virus RNA has been detected in the pathologic specimens of fetal losses, although it is unknown whether the Zika virus caused the fetal losses. Pregnant women can be infected with the Zika virus in any trimester.
The Brazil Ministry of Health continues to investigate the possible association between the Zika virus and a reported increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly. Due to concerns of microcephaly associated with maternal Zika virus infection, fetuses and infants of women infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy should be evaluated for possible congenital Zika virus infection and neurologic abnormalities.
The diagnosis of Zika virus infection should be suspected in individuals:
The incubation period (the time from exposure to onset of symptoms) of Zika virus infection is not clear but is typically 2 to 12 days after the mosquito vector bite. One in four infected individuals (20 – 25%) develops disease symptoms (CDC, 2015). Among those who do, the symptoms/infection are usually mild and usually resolve within 2 to 7 days.
An estimated 80% of individuals infected with the Zika virus are asymptomatic.2 The Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected individual for a few days, but it can be found longer in some individuals.
Symptoms of infection with the Zika virus typically include:
Maculopapular rash - wikipedia.org
Other commonly reported signs and symptoms include:
More rarely observed signs and symptoms include:
The differential diagnosis of Zika virus infection includes:
The preliminary diagnosis is based on the patient's clinical features, places and dates of travel and activities. Laboratory diagnosis is generally accomplished by testing serum or plasma to detect the Zika virus, viral nucleic acid or virus-specific immunoglobulin M and neutralizing antibodies.
The diagnosis is definitively established via reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or serology. These tests are performed at the United States CDC Arboviral Diagnostic Laboratory and some state health departments or the PAHO/WHO (CDC, 2015).
In 2016, Zika virus infection became a nationally notifiable condition. Healthcare providers are encouraged to report suspected cases to their state or local health departments to facilitate diagnosis and mitigate the risk of local transmission. State health departments are encouraged to report laboratory-confirmed cases to the CDC through ArboNET, the national surveillance system for arboviral disease.
Laboratory specimens may be sent directly to the CDC Arboviral Diagnostic Laboratory. Instructions are available online. Communication should be initiated with the laboratory via telephone (1-970-221-6400) prior to the shipment of specimens (CDC, 2015).
Test results are generally available 4 to 14 days after the receipt of the specimen. Reporting times for test results may be longer during the summer months when arbovirus activity increases. Receipt a hard copy of the results takes at least 2 weeks after testing is completed. All results will be sent to the appropriate state health department. All healthcare providers should notify their state health department of direct submissions to the CDC.
Healthcare providers should question all pregnant women about recent travel. Pregnant women with a history of travel to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission should be evaluated for Zika virus infection in accordance with CDC Interim Guidance protocols (AAP, 2012).
Because of the similar geographic distribution and clinical presentation of Zika, dengue and chikungunya virus infection, pregnant women with symptoms consistent with Zika virus infection should also be evaluated for dengue and chikungunya virus infections, in accordance with existing guidelines. Referral to a maternal-fetal medicine or infectious disease specialist with expertise in pregnancy management is recommended.
Laboratory testing of maternal serum for Zika virus infection, including RT-PCR, IgM and neutralizing antibody testing, is warranted for pregnant women(AAP, 2012):
Laboratory testing for Zika virus infection is not indicated for pregnant women in the following categories (AAP, 2012).:
It is possible that a pregnant woman with a relevant travel history and no clinical symptoms or positive ultrasound findings may have a fetus affected by the Zika virus infection in that asymptomatic Zika virus infection is common. The above interim guidance has been issued based on limited laboratory testing capacities, and these criteria may be revised.
Zika virus testing of maternal serum includes (AAP, 2012):
Laboratory evidence of maternal Zika virus infection includes (AAP, 2012):
Zika virus infections have been documented through intrauterine transmissions resulting in congenital Zika virus infection and intrapartum transmission from a viremic mother to her newborn (Vogel, 2015).
Zika virus RNA by RT-PCR testing of amniotic fluid can be performed to detect intrauterine Zika virus infection. However, the sensitivity and specificity of this approach for diagnosing congenital infection are unknown. It is reasonable to offer amniocentesis to women at 15 weeks or greater gestational age with a history of travel to an area with Zika virus transmission and either positive/inconclusive laboratory testing for Zika virus infection or relevant ultrasound findings (fetal microcephaly or intracranial calcifications).
Amniocentesis is associated with an overall 0.1% risk of pregnancy loss when performed at less than 24 weeks of gestation (Vogel, 2015). Amniocentesis performed at 15 weeks or later gestational age is associated with lower rates of complications than those performed at earlier gestational ages. Amniocentesis performed at 14 weeks or less of gestational age is not recommended. Healthcare providers should discuss the risks and benefits of amniocentesis with their patients. It is unknown whether a positive amniotic fluid RT-PCR result is predictive of a subsequent fetal abnormality and, if so, what proportion of infants born after infection will have abnormalities. A positive RT-PCR result on amniotic fluid should be considered suggestive of intrauterine Zika virus infection and potentially useful to pregnant women and their healthcare providers.
Serial ultrasound examinations (every three to four weeks) are appropriate to monitor fetal growth and anatomy in pregnant women with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection in serum or amniotic fluid (Vogel, 2015). Data on fetal ultrasound findings in infected pregnant women is limited. One small study reported variable fetal ultrasound findings that may include lower-than-expected head circumference for the time of gestation (e.g., more than two standard deviations below the mean), focal brain abnormalities in areas such as the cerebellum and intraocular and brain calcifications.
For live births, Zika virus laboratory testing is recommended for:
Because the diagnosis of Zika virus infection is made through molecular and serologic testing, including RT-PCR for viral RNA and IgM and plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) for Zika virus antibodies, it is currently unknown which type of testing most reliably establishes the diagnosis of congenital Zika virus infection. The CDC recommends molecular and serologic testing of infants being evaluated for evidence of a congenital Zika virus infection.
The following Zika virus testing on infants per CDC interim guidelines includes (Vogel, 2015):
The results of these assays can be falsely positive because of cross-reacting antibodies. Plaque-reduction neutralization testing (PRNT) can measure virus-specific neutralizing antibodies and discriminate between cross-reacting antibodies in primary flavivirus infections (e.g., dengue or yellow fever viruses).
Finally, histopathologic examination of the placenta and umbilical cord tissues with Zika virus immunohistochemical staining to detect Zika virus antigen on fixed tissue and Zika virus RT-PCR on fixed and frozen tissue can be considered (Vogel, 2015).
An infant is considered congenitally infected if Zika virus RNA or viral antigen is identified in any of the samples submitted, including testing of amniotic fluid and testing of the placenta or umbilical cord. In addition, Zika virus IgM antibodies with confirmatory neutralizing antibody titers that are 4-fold or higher than dengue virus neutralizing antibody titers in the infant serum or CSF constitute evidence of a congenital Zika virus infection. If Zika virus neutralizing antibody titers are less than 4-fold higher than dengue results, the results are inconclusive.
Fetal tissue testing is warranted for evaluation of fetal losses in women with a history of travel to an area of Zika virus transmission, together with either symptom consistent with Zika virus infection during or within two weeks of travel or findings of fetal microcephaly. In such cases, Zika virus RT-PCR and immunohistochemical staining should be performed on fetal tissues, including the umbilical cord and placenta.
As of 2016, no vaccine or antiviral medications are available to prevent or treat Zika virus infections. Effective vaccines exist for several flaviviruses. Vaccines for yellow fever virus, Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis were introduced in the 1930s. The vaccine for dengue fever has just recently become available for use.
Work has begun towards developing a vaccine for the Zika virus, according to Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The researchers at the Vaccine Research Center have extensive experience working with vaccines for viruses such as West Nile virus, chikungunya virus and dengue fever (Fauci & Morens, 2016). Nikos Vasilakis of the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases has predicted that 10 to 12 years may be needed before an effective Zika virus vaccine becomes available.
The goals of clinical management, whether pregnant or not, are supportive and include:
Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen should be avoided until dengue infection has been ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage.
In pregnant women with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection in serum or amniotic fluid, serial ultrasound examinations (every three to four weeks) are appropriate to monitor fetal growth and anatomy.
Because of similar geographic distribution and symptoms, individuals with suspected Zika virus infections also should be evaluated and managed for possible dengue or chikungunya virus infection.
Individuals infected with the Zika, chikungunya or dengue viruses should avoid mosquito bites during the first week to prevent other mosquitoes from becoming infected and reduce the risk of local transmission by passing the viruses on to other individuals.
To evaluate an infant for possible congenital Zika virus infection, microcephaly is defined as occipitofrontal circumference less than the third percentile, based on standard growth charts (e.g., Fenton, Olsen, CDC or WHO growth curves) for sex, age and gestational age at birth. For a diagnosis of microcephaly to be made, the occipitofrontal circumference should be disproportionately small in comparison with the length of the infant and not explained by other etiologies (e.g., other congenital disorders). If an infant's occipitofrontal circumference is equal to or greater than the third percentile but is notably disproportionate to the infant's length or if the infant has deficits related to the central nervous system, additional evaluation for Zika virus infection should be considered.
For all infants with possible congenital Zika virus infection, evaluation should include (DHHS, 2015):
For infants with microcephaly or intracranial calcifications detected prenatally or at birth whose mothers were possibly infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy, evaluation should include:
Recommendations for long-term follow-up for infants with possible congenital Zika virus infection include (DHHS, 2015):
For infants without microcephaly or intracranial calcifications detected prenatally or at birth whose mothers were possibly infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy, subsequent evaluation is dependent on results from maternal Zika virus testing (AAP, 2012).
Severe disease requiring hospitalization is rare. Case-fatality rates are low. In the Americas Region, ZIKV is new and, up until now, has had a minimal geographic and demographic distribution. There is only recent evidence that it can cause death. However, sporadic cases of more serious manifestations and complications in individuals with pre-existing diseases or conditions causing death have been reported.
Mosquitoes and their breeding sites pose a significant risk factor for Zika virus infection. Prevention and control rely on reducing mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and humans.
Individuals in autochthonous transmission or when traveling to areas where mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus or other viruses are endemic should take measures to avoid mosquito bites. Measures include both personal preventative protections as well as environmental control measures.
Personal protective measures include (CDC 2016):
Environmental control measures to eliminate or control mosquitoes include (CDC, 2015c):
Special attention and help should be given to those who may not be able to protect themselves adequately, such as infants/young children, the sick or the elderly.
The only way to prevent congenital Zika virus infection is to prevent maternal infection by avoiding areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing or strictly following steps to avoid mosquito bites.
If an individual has a Zika virus infection, other individuals must be protected from acquiring the virus. Since the Zika virus can be found in the infected individual's blood during the first week of infection, if a mosquito bites the infected individual, it can then pass the Zika virus onto another individual by simply biting them. Individuals with Zika virus infection may reduce the spread of infection to others by following the same personal protective measures mentioned above to protect themselves from being bitten further by other mosquitoes and then those mosquitoes biting other individuals and so on. Individuals with symptoms of Zika, dengue or chikungunya should visit a healthcare center.
Anecdotal reports of apparent sexual transmission of the Zika virus have been described, although this appears to be an infrequent mechanism for virus transmission. Information regarding the persistence of the virus at different sites following infection is not yet available. Pending further study, it may be wise for men with symptoms of Zika virus infection who have female sexual partners of childbearing age to use barrier protection and defer unprotected sex for at least a few weeks following resolution of symptoms.
On Friday, January 15, 2016, the CDC issued interim travel guidance related to the Zika virus for 14 countries and territories in Central and South America and the Caribbean (CDC, n.d.). The CDC issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for individuals traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. These regions and countries include Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Because of the potential for birth defects, the CDC issued travel guidance for pregnant American women and women of childbearing age who may become pregnant, warning them to avoid visiting places where the virus is currently circulating.
Until more is known and out of an abundance of caution, the CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant (CDC, n.d.):
The CDC has issued interim guidelines for healthcare providers in the United States to evaluate 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, testing and management of the pregnant returning traveler.
Governments or health agencies of the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, and the European Union have also issued similar travel warnings. In Colombia, the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Alejandro Gaviria Uribe, recommended avoiding pregnancy for eight months, while the countries of Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica have issued similar warnings. Women in other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that have been hit with Zika have been told to simply avoid getting pregnant - in some cases for two years.
WHO is actively working with the countries of the Americas to develop or maintain their ability to detect and confirm cases of Zika virus infection, treat individuals affected by the disease and implement effective strategies to reduce the presence of the mosquito and minimize the likelihood of an outbreak.
WHO support involves:
The WHO is supporting countries in controlling Zika virus infection through:
Outbreaks of Zika virus infection, caused by an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus, have occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Currently, there is an ongoing Zika virus outbreak in the Americas. Zika virus is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. This mosquito usually bites during the daytime and breeds in standing water.
Clinical manifestations of Zika virus infection include acute onset of low-grade fever with maculopapular rash, arthralgia (notably of the small joints of the hands and feet) or conjunctivitis (nonpurulent). Clinical illness is consistent with Zika virus infection if two or more of these symptoms are present. Zika virus infection has also been associated with congenital microcephaly, fetal loss and Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Signs and symptoms typically occur 2 to 12 days after the mosquito vector bite. Zika virus infection is usually mild. Clinical manifestations usually resolve within two to seven days. Asymptomatic infection up to 80% is common. Symptomatic infection develops in 20 to 25% of individuals infected with the Zika virus.
The diagnosis of Zika virus infection should be suspected in individuals with typical clinical manifestations and relevant epidemiologic exposure (residence in or travel to an area where the Aedes mosquito is present and where travel-related or local cases have been reported or in unprotected sexual contact with an individual who meets these criteria).
The diagnosis of Zika virus infection is established via serum RT-PCR testing or serology. Within the first seven days following the onset of symptoms, the diagnosis may be established via serum RT-PCR to detect Zika viral RNA. Four or more days after the onset of symptoms, the diagnosis may be established via Zika virus serologic testing.
Pregnant women with Zika virus exposure should undergo ultrasonography to evaluate for the presence of fetal microcephaly or intracranial calcifications. Laboratory testing for Zika virus infection is warranted for pregnant women with Zika virus exposure and either of the following:
Serial ultrasonography (every three to four weeks) is appropriate (with a focus on evaluation for microcephaly or intracranial calcifications) for pregnant women in either of the following categories:
Indications for Zika virus laboratory testing of infants include:
An infant with microcephaly or intracranial calcifications born to a mother potentially infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy should undergo further clinical evaluation. In addition, an infant with positive or inconclusive test results for Zika virus infection should be assessed for possible long-term sequelae.
There is no specific treatment for Zika virus infection, and there is no vaccine for prevention. Management consists of symptomatic treatment. Preventive measures include personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites and eliminate and control mosquito breeding sites.
Pregnant women should be particularly careful regarding adherence to mosquito protective measures and about traveling to areas where transmission of the Zika virus is high. In January 2016, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the European Centre for Prevention and Control advised pregnant women to postpone travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
CEUFast, Inc. is committed to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). While reflecting on this course content, CEUFast, Inc. would like you to consider your individual perspective and question your own biases. Remember, implicit bias is a form of bias that impacts our practice as healthcare professionals. Implicit bias occurs when we have automatic prejudices, judgments, and/or a general attitude towards a person or a group of people based on associated stereotypes we have formed over time. These automatic thoughts occur without our conscious knowledge and without our intentional desire to discriminate. The concern with implicit bias is that this can impact our actions and decisions with our workplace leadership, colleagues, and even our patients. While it is our universal goal to treat everyone equally, our implicit biases can influence our interactions, assessments, communication, prioritization, and decision-making concerning patients, which can ultimately adversely impact health outcomes. It is important to keep this in mind in order to intentionally work to self-identify our own risk areas where our implicit biases might influence our behaviors. Together, we can cease perpetuating stereotypes and remind each other to remain mindful to help avoid reacting according to biases that are contrary to our conscious beliefs and values.