By Chris Vinton, Medical Solutions Quality Assurance Specialist
Clinical Corner gave you a Zika update way back in February. Unfortunately, the virus has since spread and the CDC has new information about Zika. We always try to stay on top of current public health crises and state the facts from trustworthy sources.
The CDC has issued a travel warning for Florida. Pregnant women and couples trying to become pregnant are advised to not travel to Miami. Local mosquitos have become infected and are spreading Zika in Miami. As of now, Zika-infected mosquitos are confined to a specific neighborhood, but that could change. The Florida government, FEMA, CDC, and other government agencies are doing their best to contain the virus but there is still a chance it will spread.
Zika has been linked to birth defects, specifically microcephaly, as well as neurological disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. Though most people will still experience no to mild symptoms, pregnant women and fetuses are still most at risk when it comes to the Zika virus.
It has also since been confirmed that Zika is spread by sexual contact. It’s especially important that you use protection if you or your partner have been in any areas facing a Zika outbreak. Individuals infected by Zika can still spread the virus long after their symptoms have subsided. CDC recommends, for couples where either partner has been infected, that women wait at least 8 weeks after symptoms and men wait at least 6 months after symptoms before trying to conceive.
We will continue to monitor the Zika virus in the event of it spreading and always give you the facts. We want our nurses to be informed in case any patients you take care of have Zika and, as always, we want YOU to be as safe as possible!
Here are a few more resources to help you stay educated on the Zika virus:
- If you are in the Florida area, the CDC released a new update here.
- Click here for a map showing all areas effected by a Zika outbreak.
- To see the plan for Zika the CDC has put forth, you can read the full interim plan by clicking here.