A “Key Zika Considerations for Healthcare Settings” checklist has been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to aid providers. The document gives health care systems and providers key areas of focus when preparing for patients seeking a diagnosis or those looking to manage the symptoms of Zika.
Here are the nine recommendations, summarized:
- Health care providers should be aware of the clinical manifestations of the virus and how to gain information about areas with active transmission.
- Providers should know how to assess pregnant women for possible Zika virus exposure. This includes travel to an area with Zika and sex without a condom.
- Providers should give advice on preventing sexual transmission of Zika during pregnancy.
- Discuss prevention techniques with patients and their families. This includes providing proper materials with information on preventing mosquito bites.
- Providers should follow standard precaution measures for patient care.
- Providers should follow standard precautions to be used during labor and delivery care.
- The CDC’s Zika website should be listed on internal and external hospital websites to provide staff with the most up-to-date guidance.
- Suspected cases should be reported to state or local health departments to facilitate diagnosis.
- All pregnant women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika infection, with or without symptoms, should be reported to the proper health department officials for enrollment in the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry. This includes infants born to those reported.
Be sure to read the full recommendations from the CDC. And read more about what health care providers should know at the American Hospital Association’s Zika resource page, the CDC’s Zika page for health care providers and H&HN's Zika blog.