Pediatricians should learn to recognize risk factors for Zika infection, monitor and test suspected cases in conjunction with local and state health authorities, and report confirmed cases, according to directives recently issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Texas Department of State Health Services provides a central repository of Zika information for health care providers, including current testing, treatment, and reporting guidelines. TexasZika.org also offers important public education materials in English and Spanish that are free and available for health care providers. The materials include fact sheets, cards, posters, newsletter articles, sharable social media posts and graphics, online ads, and more.
To date, all Zika infections in Texas are linked to international travel, but domestic transmission is likely. The first infant born in the mainland U.S. with microencephaly and other Zika-related birth defects was delivered on May 31. At that time, more than 300 pregnant women in the U.S. and its territories were believed to be infected with Zika.
Pediatricians can discuss suspected congenital Zika cases in newborns with the CDC Emergency Operations Center, which can be reached at 770-488-7100 or ZikaPregnancy@cdc.gov.