News

13-08-2018

Zika has not gone away, the virus has continued to spread at low levels through many areas of the world. Many people infected with Zika virus do not get sick or have mild symptoms. Infection during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects. The Centre for Disease Control ( CDC) has updated guidance for couples who have been possibly exposed to Zika virus or are known to have been infected and are planning a pregnancy. The recommendation for men who may have been exposed to the virus  has been reduced from 6 months to 3 months before trying to conceive. All the other Zika guidance remains unchanged, including the recommendation that men who have possibly been exposed and who have a pregnant partner should use condoms or abstain from sex during the entire pregnancy and for women to wait 2 months after return before trying to conceive.

Public Health England and Australian Health Department are reviewing the guideline recommendations of 6 months for men regarding preventing transmission to pregnant women following the CDC revision..

Pregnant women are advised by all International guidelines to postpone non-essential travel to high risk areas until after the pregnancy and consider postponing travel to moderate risk areas.

The CDC has just published the results of findings from 4800 pregnancies between 2016 and 2018 in US territories for which there is laboratory evidence of confirmed or possible Zika virus infection, analysing the health outcomes of the babies at 1 year of age. Among these babies, 6% had at least one Zika-associated brain or eye birth defect and 9% had at least one neurodevelopmental abnormality, such as seizures, hearing loss or developmental delay.

The Australian Department of Health does not keep a list of Zika affected countries, instead the World Health Organization provides a classification scheme , the four categories provide advice to travellers are available at the Department of Health website, http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/ohp-zika-countries.htm Countries with Category 1 classification have evidence of ongoing transmission ( Singapore, Tonga, Cuba, Argentina and more)and Category 4 are countries with mosquitoes known to transmit the virus, but with no evidence of past or current transmission ( Australia, Brunei, China, Egypt, Turkey, Nepal, Sri Lanka and more) The CDC also has an easy to interpret updated world map of known zika areas for quick reference at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/world-map-areas-with-zika

If a couple are unable to wait for the full recommended period before attempting conception, a blood test and urine test taken at 2 weeks after the last exposure can be taken and repeated at 4 weeks post exposure. There is no specific treatment for Zika virus if a positive test is returned. A positive test in the mother gives no information on whether the baby is infected or harmed.Zika has not gone away, the virus has continued to spread at low levels through many areas of the world. Many people infected with Zika virus do not get sick or have mild symptoms. Infection during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects. The Centre for Disease Control ( CDC) has updated guidance for couples who have been possibly exposed to Zika virus or are known to have been infected and are planning a pregnancy. The recommendation for men who may have been exposed to the virus  has been reduced from 6 months to 3 months before trying to conceive. All the other Zika guidance remains unchanged, including the recommendation that men who have possibly been exposed and who have a pregnant partner should use condoms or abstain from sex during the entire pregnancy and for women to wait 2 months after return before trying to conceive.

Public Health England and Australian Health Department are reviewing the guideline recommendations of 6 months for men regarding preventing transmission to pregnant women following the CDC revision..

Pregnant women are advised by all International guidelines to postpone non-essential travel to high risk areas until after the pregnancy and consider postponing travel to moderate risk areas.

The CDC has just published the results of findings from 4800 pregnancies between 2016 and 2018 in US territories for which there is laboratory evidence of confirmed or possible Zika virus infection, analysing the health outcomes of the babies at 1 year of age. Among these babies, 6% had at least one Zika-associated brain or eye birth defect and 9% had at least one neurodevelopmental abnormality, such as seizures, hearing loss or developmental delay.

The Australian Department of Health does not keep a list of Zika affected countries, instead the World Health Organization provides a classification scheme , the four categories provide advice to travellers are available at the Department of Health website, http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/ohp-zika-countries.htm Countries with Category 1 classification have evidence of ongoing transmission ( Singapore, Tonga, Cuba, Argentina and more)and Category 4 are countries with mosquitoes known to transmit the virus, but with no evidence of past or current transmission ( Australia, Brunei, China, Egypt, Turkey, Nepal, Sri Lanka and more) The CDC also has an easy to interpret updated world map of known zika areas for quick reference at https://www.nc.cdc.gov/travel/page/world-map-areas-with-zika

If a couple are unable to wait for the full recommended period before attempting conception, a blood test and urine test taken at 2 weeks after the last exposure can be taken and repeated at 4 weeks post exposure. There is no specific treatment for Zika virus if a positive test is returned. A positive test in the mother gives no information on whether the baby is infected or harmed.

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