zika%20virus%20infection
ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION

Zika virus is an icosahedral, enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus that comes from the Flaviviridae family and genus Flavivirus.

It is transmitted in humans through a bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito.

In February 2016, the Zika virus infection was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an international health emergency.

Pregnant women infected by Zika virus may pass their infection to the developing fetus and may cause birth defects such as microcephaly, ventriculomegaly, intracranial calcifications, extra-axial fluid, polymicrogyria, decreased brain parenchymal volume, hypoplasia of the cerebellum, brainstem or dermis, delayed myelination, thinning or hypoplasia of the corpus callosum and cortical atrophy and malformation.

 

 

Patient Education

  • Both men and women (pregnant or non-pregnant) should be counseled on the possible risk and outcome of Zika virus transmission
    • Symptomatic men are advised to wait at least 6 months from the onset of symptoms before having unprotected sex
    • Asymptomatic men are advised to wait at least 6 months from the last date of possible exposure before having unprotected sex
    • Symptomatic women are advised to wait at least 8 weeks after the onset of symptoms before having unprotected sex
    • Asymptomatic women are advised to wait at least 8 weeks from the last date of possible exposure before having unprotected sex
  • Longer precautionary period is recommended for men because:
    • The RNA of the virus still persists in the semen of an infected man after his recovery from the illness
    • It is still unknown for how long will it take an infected man's semen to clear the virus
    • There is no documentation about a good evidence on the difference between symptomatic and asymptomatic men
  • For patients who are trying to get pregnant, taking folic acid supplement for 28 days should be advised
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