The Zika virus: resources and guidelines

Nurse Leader Insider, February 18, 2016

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There has been a lot of information (and misinformation) circulating about the Zika virus over the past few weeks. While we don’t know a lot about the Zika virus for sure yet, here are the basics:

  • The virus is spread by the infected Aedes species of mosquito, commonly found in the tropics.
  • Though the Aedes mosquito is found in some areas of the U.S., there have been no instances of Zika-infected mosquitos.
  • Pregnant women infected with the Zika virus can spread it to their fetus.
  • The virus may be linked to birth defects for pregnant women.
  •  There is no vaccine for the Zika virus, and the World Health Organization suggests that we are still many months away from clinical trials.

The CDC has released a straightforward infographic that provides the basic information about the Zika virus that is perfect for printing and sharing.

To help keep you and your staff informed, we’ve also provided links to some additional resources and guidelines below:

Symptoms and testing: The CDC has provided some tips for healthcare providers to help identify symptoms and outline testing procedures.

Care guidelines for pregnant women: The Zika virus is associated with congenital microcephaly and other possible birth defects, making pregnant women particularly vulnerable. Here is a Q&A designed to help providers advise their pregnant patients.

Incident map: There is some panic around the Zika virus in the United States, leading to a lot of false reporting. To counteract this, the CDC published this map showing confirmed cases of the Zika virus that will be updated regularly.

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