MDHHS Guidance for Evaluating Returning Traveler for Zika Virus
January 21, 2016
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued a health and travel advisory regarding Zika virus in the Americas (http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/
Clinical disease is usually mild and includes sudden onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia or conjunctivitis that lasts for a few days to a week. However, during the current outbreak, Zika virus infections have been confirmed in several infants with microcephaly and in fetal losses in women infected during pregnancy. Healthcare providers should ask all pregnant women about recent travel.
The CDC has developed guidance for pregnant women who may be traveling to areas in the Americas where Zika virus is circulating, “Interim Guidelines for Pregnant Women During a Zika Virus Outbreak-United States, 2016” (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
Zika virus infection should be considered in Michigan patients, particularly pregnant women, with acute onset of symptoms and who traveled to areas with ongoing transmission in the two weeks prior to illness onset (http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/
Healthcare providers should consider Zika virus testing in pregnant patients with clinical illness and recent travel. Currently, there are no commercial tests available for Zika virus. Contact the MDHHS at 517-335-8165 for assistance with submitting specimens for diagnostic testing.
Until more is known and out of an abundance of caution, pregnant women should consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant who do travel to these areas should talk to their doctors or other healthcare providers first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
For current information, visit CDC’s Zika virus website at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.