Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) received confirmation today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of our first, laboratory-confirmed, travel-related case. The individual is an adult female and she is not considered infectious. As expected, the illness was mild and she has already recovered. Pregnancy is not an issue.
As the Zika Virus outbreak continues to evolve, DPH will provide updated guidance from the CDC to the healthcare community.
Most people infected with Zika do not develop symptoms. About one in five people infected with the virus develop the disease. Zika is generally a mild illness currently widespread in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Anyone who lives or travels in the impacted areas could be infected regardless of whether they show symptoms. The most serious threat linked to Zika is serious birth defects. Microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes are now being linked to the virus.
Zika is generally transmitted through bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The mosquito that most commonly transmits Zika (Aedes aegypti), as well as dengue and chikungunya, is very rare in Delaware. However, in Delaware we do have another Aedes species of concern for possible transmission of Zika, the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. Local Zika transmission via a mosquito is possible once mosquito season starts but it depends on a variety of factors.
The most significant threat linked to Zika is serious birth defects. While it generally presents as a mild illness, there have been reports of serious birth defects to infants whose mother contracted the virus while pregnant. Microcephalya condition in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age, and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers are now being explicitly linked to the virus, per a new CDC announcement today.
As a result, the Division of Public Health (DPH) is focusing its messaging and awareness on preventing exposure to pregnant women and their male partners.
Precautions for pregnant women or women who may get pregnant:
All women who traveled to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission during pregnancy should be evaluated specifically for Zika virus infection and tested in accordance with CDC’s latest guidance. See CDC links below.
Health care providers should ask all their patients about recent travel. Because of the similar geographic distribution and clinical presentation of Zika, dengue, and chikungunya virus infection, patients with symptoms consistent with Zika virus should also be evaluated for dengue and chikungunya virus infection, in accordance with existing guidelines.
To screen patients for travel-related infectious diseases, healthcare providers can use the updated DPH screening tool at:
According to CDC, testing should be prioritized for:
Contact DPH Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at 888-295-5156 or 302-744-4990 for assistance with specimen collection and coordination of testing.
You are receiving this email because you are a registered member of the Delaware Health Alert Network. If you are not a member and would like to subscribe, please register at https://healthalertde.org
Please note: Some of the files available on this page are in Adobe PDF format which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded directly from Adobe . If you are using an assistive technology unable to read Adobe PDF, please either view the corresponding text only version (if available) or visit Adobe's Accessibility Tools page.