HEALTH ADVISORY # 335

 

 COUNTY OF ERIE

MARK POLONCARZ

COUNTY EXECUTIVE

GALE R. BURSTEIN, MD, MPH, FAAP                                                          DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH

                          

 HEALTH ADVISORY # 335                                                                      January 21, 2016

ZIKA VIRUS GUIDANCE:

  • Recognizing, Managing, and Reporting Zika Virus Infections in Returning Travelers from Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
  • Interim Guidelines for Pregnant Women During a Zika Virus Outbreak

Please distribute to Healthcare Providers, Infection Control Department, Emergency Department, Infectious Disease Department, OB/GYN, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Director of Nursing, Medical Director, Laboratory Service, Pharmacy, and all patient care areas.

SUMMARY:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued the Health Advisory on Recognizing, Managing, and Reporting Zika Virus Infections in Returning Travelers from Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
  • The CDC has issued the guidance document, Interim Guidelines for Pregnant Women During a Zika Virus Outbreak-United States, 2016.
  • The CDC has issued Level 2 Travel Notices for countries that have past or current evidence of Zika virus transmission. Level 2 Travel Notices urge travelers to practice enhanced precautions while traveling.
  • At this time, testing is not available through commercial laboratories and can only be performed at select laboratories, including New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center. Diagnosis of Zika virus is based on both molecular tests and serology.
    • Hospitals and providers must contact the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) prior to sending samples to Wadsworth at 716-858-7697 during normal business hours and 716-961-7898 evenings, weekends and holidays.
    •  A minimum of two ml of serum should be frozen at -80C and shipped on dry ice to the Wadsworth Center, David Axelrod Institute, 120 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208. If dry ice is not available or serum has not been frozen after collection, please send serum on cold packs and serology will be performed. Wadsworth’s test requisition form must be completed before submission.
    • Wadsworth’s Arbovirus Laboratory will perform plaque reduction neutralization tests against the circulating viruses in Central and South America and the Caribbean including Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya and West Nile Virus.
    • Wadsworth’s Virology Laboratory will perform a flavivirus-specific real time PCR assay followed by sequencing.
    • Hospitals and providers must report suspected cases of Zika virus and all other arboviral diseases to the local health department where the patient resides.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS 

  • Zika virus infection should be considered in patients with acute fever, rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis, who traveled to areas with ongoing transmission in the two weeks prior to onset of illness.
  • All travelers should take steps to avoid mosquito bites to prevent Zika virus infection and other mosquito-borne diseases.
  • 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 who do travel to one of these areas should talk to their healthcare providers first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip. Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
  • Fetuses and infants of women infected with Zika virus during pregnancy should be evaluated for possible congenital infection and neurologic abnormalities as per CDC guidance.

REPORTING  

Providers are required to report suspected cases of Zika virus and all other arboviral diseases to the local health department where the patient resides.  Providers can contact the Erie County Department of Health at 716-858-7697 during normal business hours or 716-961-7898 evenings, weekends and holidays. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION  

Health Category Definitions:   

Health Alert FLASH: conveys the highest level of importance due to a large-scale, catastrophic public health emergency; warrants immediate action or attention

Health Alert Priority: conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention to a health problem or situation

Health Advisory: provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action

Health Update: provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; no immediate action necessary

The Erie County Department of Health does not provide medical advice. The information provided on the Erie County Department of Health website is not an attempt to practice medicine and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your personal physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or issue. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the content found on the Erie County Department of Health website or this correspondence.

The ECDOH Health Alert & Advisory System is an e-mail notification system designed to alert community partners about important health related information. Sign up here to receive health alerts & advisories