CDC Issues Zika Virus Health Advisory

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Zika virus health advisory with information and recommendations for recognizing, managing, and reporting infections in travelers returning from Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The advisory also provides travel guidance for pregnant women and women who are trying to become pregnant. Last month, public health officials announced the confirmed diagnosis of the mosquito-borne disease in a Houston woman who traveled in November to El Salvador.

The advisory notes physicians should consider Zika virus infection in patients with: 

  • Acute onset of fever, 
  • Maculopapular rash, and
  • Arthralgia or conjunctivitis. 

Physicians also should consider Zika virus infection in patients who traveled to areas with ongoing transmission in the two weeks before the onset of illness. 

According to CDC, clinical disease usually is mild, but during the current outbreak, Zika virus infections have been confirmed in several infants with microcephaly and in fetal deaths in women infected during pregnancy. "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 doctors or other health care providers first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip. Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their health care providers before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip," the CDC advisory states.

CDC encourages Texas physicians to report suspected Zika virus cases to the Texas Department of State Health Services to facilitate diagnosis and to mitigate the risk of local transmission. 

More Information

General information about Zika virus  
Information for clinicians  
Protection against mosquitoes 
Zika virus travel notices

Action, Feb. 1, 2016

Last Updated On

June 17, 2016