Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus transmitted primarily by Aedes aegyti mosquitoes. Aedes aegyti mosquitoes are not endemic to Illinois.
Zika virus infection should be considered in patients with acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia or conjunctivitis, who traveled to areas with active transmission in the two weeks prior to illness onset. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth. There have also been increased reports of Guillain-Barrésyndrome, an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, in areas affected by Zika.
Because of possible associations with poor pregnancy outcomes, the CDC recommends that pregnant women in any trimester and women trying to become pregnant consider postponing travel to areas with active Zika transmission.
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.
Testing for Zika virus is no longer available at Public Health Laboratories due to a decline in Zika cases in the Americas 30-70 fold since 2016. Providers should utilize commercial laboratories for Zika testing. The following persons should be tested for Zika based on current CDC guidelines
Symptomatic (fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis) pregnant women. For symptomatic pregnant women with recent travel to areas with active dengue transmission and risk of Zika, specimens should be collected as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms up to 12 weeks after symptom onset.
Pregnant women who have a fetus with prenatal ultrasound findings consistent with congenital Zika virus infection who live in or traveled to areas with a risk of Zika during her pregnancy. Link to CDC Zika website:www.cdc.gov/zika
Pregnancy & Zika Testing
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