The CDC continues to roll out new, and updated guidance documents relating to the Zika outbreak in the Americas. Today, updated guidelines for health care providers caring for children with possible Zika infection, and two more Caribbean destinations (Aruba and Bonaire) are added to the travel advisory list.
CDC has updated its interim guidelines for healthcare providers who care for infants and children with possible Zika virus infection. The guidance, which has been expanded to cover children up to 18 years old, includes these updates:
Media StatementFor Immediate Release: Friday, February 19, 2016
Contact: Media Relations, (404) 639-3286
Parents in families traveling to or living in areas with Zika can help protect their children by strictly following steps to prevent mosquito bites. Based on what we know now, Zika virus disease in children, as for adults, is usually mild. As an arboviral disease, Zika virus disease is a nationally notifiable condition; healthcare providers should report suspected cases to their local, state, or territorial health department. CDC’s guidance will continue to be updated as we learn more.
- A new recommendation that infants with typical head size, normal ultrasounds, and a normal physical exam born to mothers who traveled to or lived in areas with Zika do not require any special care beyond what is routinely provided to newborns.
- A new recommendation to suspect Zika virus disease in children, in addition to infants, who have traveled to or lived in an area with Zika within the past 2 weeks and have at least two of these symptoms: fever, rash, red eyes, or joint pain. Because transmission of Zika virus from mother to infant during delivery is possible, this recommendation also applies to infants during the first 2 weeks of life whose mother traveled to or resided in an affected area within 2 weeks of delivery.
CDC adds 2 destinations to interim travel guidance related to Zika virus
CDC is working with other public health officials to monitor for ongoing Zika virus transmission. Today, CDC added the following destinations to the Zika virus travel notices: Aruba and Bonaire. CDC has issued a travel notice (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
Media StatementFor Immediate Release: Thursday, February 18, 2016 Contact: Media Relations, (404) 639-3286
For a full list of affected countries/regions: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information. Specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to continue to change over time.
As more information becomes available, CDC travel notices will be updated. Travelers to areas where cases of Zika virus infection have been recently confirmed are at risk of being infected with the Zika virus. Mosquitoes that spread Zika are aggressive daytime biters. They also bite at night. There is no vaccine or medicine available for Zika virus.
The best way to avoid Zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites.
Some travelers to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission will become infected while traveling but will not become sick until they return home and they might not have any symptoms. To stop the spread of Zika, travelers should use insect repellent for three weeks after travel to prevent mosquito bites.
Some people who are infected do not have any symptoms. People who do have symptoms have reported fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Other commonly reported symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and the number of deaths is low. Travelers to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission should monitor for symptoms or illness upon return. If they become sick, they should tell their healthcare professional where they have traveled and when.
Until more is known, CDC continues to recommend that pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant take the following precautions.
Women trying to get pregnant
- Consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus is ongoing.
- If you must travel to one of these areas, or live in the area, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
- If you have a male partner who lives in or has traveled to an area where Zika transmission is ongoing, either abstain from sex or use condoms consistently and correctly for the duration of your pregnancy.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has been reported in patients with probable Zika virus infection in French Polynesia and Brazil. Research efforts underway will also examine the link between Zika and GBS.
- Before you or your male partner travel, talk to your healthcare provider about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection.
- You and your male partner should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.