Zika Virus Update for 2017

Last year, the Environmental Health and Safety Office kept you updated on the latest information concerning the Zika Virus. We will continue to do so through monthly posts on InsideMGA and the EHS webpage.

The “10 Public Health Achievements in 2016 and Future Priorities” published by the CDC concerning the Zika Virus are outlined below. For the full publication, please visit this link.

  1. Travel notices warning pregnant woman not to travel to known areas with Zika transmission were issued throughout the year. Travel conditions are still being continuously updated and can be found here.
  2. The CDC conducted clinical research beginning in January 2016 and published information that was distributed to healthcare providers.
  3. It was determined that Zika could be transmitted
  4. The FDA issued blood screening recommendations for areas with active mosquito-borne Zika and eventually expanded these recommendations to include all of the US.
  5. Laboratory test kits were created and distributed.
  6. The CDC determined that the Zika virus could lead to serious brain abnormalities in fetuses.
  7. Zika Pregnancy Surveillance studies were conducted across US territories to determine the probability of fetuses having signs of birth defects when the mother was infected by Zika during pregnancy.
  8. The CDC Foundation improved access to contraceptives in Puerto Rico as a method to reduce the impact of Zika.
  9. Management of the primary mosquito vector that causes Zika was improved.
  10. Studies were conducted to improve the understanding of the link between Zika and Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

FUTURE PRIORITIES

  • Protection of pregnant women, fetuses, and infants from Zika
  • Improvements in diagnostics
  • Government and private partner collaborations to fast-track vaccine development
  • Improvements in vector surveillance and control
  • Improvements in contraceptive access
  • Increased understanding of the long-term effects of Zika on infants

References:

Oussayef NL, Pillai SK, Honein MA, et al. Zika Virus —10 Public Health Achievements in 2016 and Future Priorities. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 30 December 2016. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6552e1

CDC. Zika Travel Information. ePub: 09 December 2016. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-information

CDC. Transmission and Risks. ePub: 24 October 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/zika/transmission/

CDC. Microcephaly and Other Brain Defects. ePub: 22 November 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/zika/healtheffects/birth_defects.html