admin News February 10, 2016

Zika Virus ABC

Information from the Centers for Disease Control
summarized by Clay County Missouri Public Health Center.



  • Zika virus is primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti mos­quitoes. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are found throughout much of the region of the Americas, including parts of the United States.
  • These mosquitoes can also transmit dengue and chikungu­nya viruses.



  • The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week.
  • Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.


Major Concerns:

  • Though Zika virus does not circulate in the continental United States, there are potentials for local transmission to occur as a result of virus importation by infected, viremic travelers. Any infected travelers visiting or returning to parts of the United States with established populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes could initiate local virus transmission.
  • Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby.
  • There have been reports of birth defects and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.



  • There is currently no vaccine or medication to prevent Zika virus infection.
  • All travelers to or residents of areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission should be advised to strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites because of the potential for exposure to Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses.
  • Aedes vector mosquitoes bite mostly during daylight hours; thus, protection from mosquito bites is required throughout the day.
  • Prevention of mosquito bites includes wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, permethrin-treated clothing, and using United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents.
  • Insect repellents containing ingre­dients such as DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 are safe for use during pregnancy when used in accordance with the product label.
  • To prevent human-to-mosquito-to-human transmis­sion, persons infected with Zika, dengue, or chikungunya virus should protect themselves from mosquito exposure during the first week of illness.


Interim Guidelines for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure — United States, 2016


Asymptomatic pregnant women (women who do not report clinical illness consistent with Zika virus disease) who have traveled to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission, testing can be offered 2–12 weeks after pregnant women return from travel.


Pregnant women who reside in areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission have an ongoing risk for infection throughout their pregnancy. For pregnant women with clinical illness consistent with Zika virus disease, testing is recommended during the first week of illness.

Asymp­tomatic pregnant women residing in areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission, testing is recommended at the initiation of prenatal care with follow-up testing mid-second trimester.

Counseling of Women of Reproductive Age:

Health care providers should discuss reproductive life plans, including pregnancy intention and timing, with women of reproductive age in the context of the potential risks associated with Zika virus infection.

  • Women of reproductive age with current or previous labora­tory-confirmed Zika virus infection should be counseled that there is no evidence that prior Zika virus infection poses a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies.

This is because the viremia is expected to last approximately 1 week in patients with clinical illness. There is no current evidence to sug­gest that a fetus conceived after maternal viremia has resolved would be at risk for fetal infection.

  • Pregnant women or women planning to get pregnant should also be counseled on the potential risk of sexual transmission, if their partner is at risk of exposure to the virus.