Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause congenital microcephaly and brain abnormalities (1,2). Since 2015, Zika virus has been spreading through much of the World Health Organization’s Region of the Americas, including U.S. territories. Zika virus is spread through the bite of Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, by sex with an infected partner, or from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy.* CDC estimates that 41 states are in the potential range of Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes (3), and on July 29, 2016, the Florida Department of Health identified an area in one neighborhood of Miami where Zika virus infections in multiple persons are being spread by bites of local mosquitoes. Read full article here.
"Zika virus is a flavivirus transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, and infection can be asymptomatic or result in an acute febrile illness with rash (1). Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other severe birth defects (2). Infection has also been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) (3) and severe thrombocytopenia (4,5). In December 2015, the Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDH) reported the first locally acquired case of Zika virus infection. This report provides an update to the epidemiology of and public health response to ongoing Zika virus transmission in Puerto Rico (6,7). A confirmed case of Zika virus infection is defined as a positive result for Zika virus testing by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for Zika virus in a blood or urine specimen. A presumptive case is defined as a positive result by Zika virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (MAC-ELISA)* and a negative result by dengue virus IgM ELISA, or a positive test result by Zika IgM MAC-ELISA in a pregnant woman. An unspecified flavivirus case is defined as positive or equivocal results for both Zika and dengue virus by IgM ELISA. During November 1, 2015–July 7, 2016, a total of 23,487 persons were evaluated by PRDH and CDC Dengue Branch for Zika virus infection, including asymptomatic pregnant women and persons with signs or symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease or suspected GBS; 5,582 (24%) confirmed and presumptive Zika virus cases were identified. Persons with Zika virus infection were residents of 77 (99%) of Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities. During 2016, the percentage of positive Zika virus infection cases among symptomatic males and nonpregnant females who were tested increased from 14% in February to 64% in June. Among 9,343 pregnant women tested, 672 had confirmed or presumptive Zika virus infection, including 441 (66%) symptomatic women and 231 (34%) asymptomatic women. One patient died after developing severe thrombocytopenia (4). Evidence of Zika virus infection or recent unspecified flavivirus infection was detected in 21 patients with confirmed GBS. The widespread outbreak and accelerating increase in the number of cases in Puerto Rico warrants intensified vector control and personal protective behaviors to prevent new infections, particularly among pregnant women."
As part of the response to the Zika outbreak, CDC, in collaboration with state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments, established a pregnancy registry for comprehensive monitoring of pregnancy and infant outcomes following possible Zika virus infection. The registry is an active surveillance system of pregnant women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection in the 50 US states and DC, and in the US territories. On May 20, 2016, CDC released detailed information about the registry and will initiate weekly reporting of the number of pregnant women followed in the registry.
Aedes species mosquitoes transmit chikungunya virus, as well as dengue and Zika viruses, and bite most often during the day.* Infectious mosquito bites frequently occur in and around homes (1,2). Caribbean countries first reported local transmission of chikungunya virus in December 2013, and soon after, chikungunya virus spread throughout the Americas (3). Puerto Rico reported its first laboratory-positive chikungunya case in May 2014 (4), and subsequently identified approximately 29,000 suspected cases throughout the island by the end of 2015 ...
In May 2015, Zika virus was reported to be circulating in Brazil. This was the first identified introduction of the virus in the Region of the Americas. Since that time, Zika virus has rapidly spread throughout the region. As of April 20, 2016, the Florida Department of Health Bureau of Public Health Laboratories (BPHL) has tested specimens from 913 persons who met state criteria for Zika virus testing. Among these 913 persons, 91 met confirmed or probable Zika virus disease case criteria and all cases were travel-associated (1).
Diagnostic testing for Zika virus infection can be accomplished using molecular and serologic methods. Real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) is the preferred test for Zika virus infection because it can be performed rapidly and is highly specific (1,2) ...
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