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  • Preventing Transmission of Zika Virus in Labor and Delivery Settings Through Implementation of Standard Precautions

    March 22, 2016

    Zika virus transmission was detected in the Region of the Americas (Americas) in Brazil in May 2015, and as of March 21, 2016, local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus had been reported in 32 countries and territories in the Americas, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.* Most persons infected with Zika virus have a mild illness or are asymptomatic. However, increasing evidence supports a link between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes (1), and a possible association between recent Zika virus infection and Guillain-Barré syndrome has been reported (2). Although Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of Aedes species of mosquitoes, sexual transmission also has been documented (3). Zika virus RNA has been detected in a number of body fluids, including blood, urine, saliva, and amniotic fluid (3–5), and whereas transmission associated with occupational exposure to these body fluids is theoretically possible, it has not been documented. Although there are no reports of transmission of Zika virus from infected patients to health care personnel or other patients, minimizing exposures to body fluids is important to reduce the possibility of such transmission. CDC recommends Standard Precautions in all health care settings to protect both health care personnel and patients from infection with Zika virus as well as from blood-borne pathogens (e.g., human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] and hepatitis C virus [HCV]) (6). Because of the potential for exposure to large volumes of body fluids during the labor and delivery process and the sometimes unpredictable and fast-paced nature of obstetrical care, the use of Standard Precautions in these settings is essential to prevent possible transmission of Zika virus from patients to health care personnel. 

     

    For More Information: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6511e3er.htm?s_cid=mm6511e3er_w.

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