Saturday, April 02, 2016

CDC: Vital Signs and Zika Action Plan Summit

# 11,227

Between yesterday's Zika Action Plan (ZAP) Summit, a CDC Vital Signs release on Zika & Pregnancy, and the release of new guidance documents and PDFs, there's a fair amount to catch up on this morning.

First stop, some of the recently published Zika documentation, which includes:

What's New

Earlier guidance documents may be accessed here. 

On Friday the CDC also released a Zika & Pregnancy Vital Signs Report, which includes a new MMWR report (see below), and in the words of the CDC, provides:

 . . . information that reinforces previous CDC guidance and suggested actions that pregnant women and their partners can take to prevent Zika virus infection during pregnancy. The Vital Signs report describes what the U.S. government is doing, what state and local public health agencies and healthcare providers can do, and what can be done to prevent mosquito bites that potentially spread Zika. The report also includes an updated map of the U.S. with the latest available information on where the mosquitoes that can transmit the virus have been found.

The MMWR introducing the Zika & Pregnancy Vital Signs website follows:

Widespread Zika virus transmission in the Region of the Americas since 2015 has heightened the urgency of preparing for the possibility of expansion of mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus during the 2016 mosquito season (1). CDC and other U.S. government agencies have been working with state and local government partners on prevention and early detection of Zika virus infection and will increase these activities during April as part of their preparation for the anticipated emergence of mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus in the continental United States.

Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes, but it can also be transmitted during sex by a man to his partners and from a pregnant woman to her developing fetus (2). The most common signs and symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. The illness is usually mild, with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. There is increasing evidence that Zika virus infection during pregnancy is associated with early pregnancy loss, microcephaly, and other pregnancy problems (3). CDC therefore recommends special precautions for pregnant women. Pregnant women are advised not to travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission and to consistently and correctly use condoms during sex (i.e., vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, or fellatio) or to abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy with male partners who reside in or have traveled to areas with active Zika virus transmission (
Pregnant women who live in or must travel to one of these areas should talk to their health care provider and strictly follow steps to prevent Zika virus infection acquisition from mosquito bites ( and through sexual transmission ( (4,5).

On April 1, 2016, CDC is hosting a 1-day Zika Action Plan Summit, which focuses on awareness and planning for U.S. state and local jurisdictions most likely to face mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus in the coming months (6). The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa are already experiencing active mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission at varying levels (7). The U.S. government convened this summit to provide senior state and local government officials with information, plans, and tools to improve Zika preparedness, and an opportunity for them to develop effective response plans for their jurisdictions.
Persons who are planning travel should visit CDC’s Travelers' Health site ( for the most up-to-date travel information. Areas with active Zika virus transmission are likely to change over time and might include locations not yet listed. CDC has published interim guidelines and additional updates on Zika virus disease and will continue sharing information as more is learned. Additional publications and resources are available (Box).

And last stop is the Zika Action Plan Summit Website.  The summit was broadcast live yesterday online, and thousands across the nation were able to watch. 

Goals of the Summit

  • Provide state and local senior officials with information and tools needed to improve Zika preparedness and response within their states and jurisdictions.
  • Increase knowledge on the latest Zika science, including implications for pregnant women.
  • Increase knowledge of best communications practices, including crisis and risk communication principles.
  • Accelerate readiness for local Zika transmission through training and technical assistance to states to help establish and support surveillance and share best practices for vector control.
  • Identify possible gaps in preparedness and response at the federal, state, and local levels, and help to begin to address possible gaps.

While I expect we'll see the audio/video & transcript of the CDC's mid-day press conference posted in the next day or two, we'll have to wait to see if any of the summit plenary sessions will be posted as well.

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