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Infection Control Tip of the Month

Infection Control Tip of the Month   February 2016

Zika Virus

The Zika virus has been around for quite some time. It was first discovered in rhesus monkeys in Uganda in 1947 in the Zika forest (hence the name Zika Virus).

Transmission: Bite of an infected Aedes mosquito.  These mosquitos usually bite in the daytime and twilight. They can also transmit dengue and chikungunya viruses.

Precautions: No special precautions or PPE needed to care for an infected patient (Standard Precautions)

Symptoms:  Low grade fever (37.8-38.5 C), maculopapular rash, joint pain, conjuctivitis.

Incubation period:3-5 days, can last up to 14 days. Only about 20% of infected people have symptoms. Duration of illness-about 1 week

Zika and pregnancy: there have been increase rates of microcephaly in Brazil-evidence is fairly strong that the Zika virus is the cause. CDC currently recommends that pregnant women defer travel to areas with ongoing transmission

Lab Testing: It is very important to know patient’s travel history. If the provider suspects Zika, they must contact either our local health department at 301-759-5000 or the state health department at 410-767-6700 or 410-795-7365 to arrange for a consult for possible lab testing.

Prevention: No vaccine currently available. Use an EPA registered insect repellant. Cover exposed skin by wearing long sleeved shirts, long pants and hats. Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaves and standing water.

Treatment: No treatment, just supportive treatment for sypmtoms. Should refrain from using Nsaids until dengue virus is ruled out.

 

 

 

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