Zika Virus Disease: A CDC Update for Pediatric Health Care Providers
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus discovered in Africa in 1947. Most persons with Zika virus infection are asymptomatic; symptoms when present are generally mild and include fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, and conjunctivitis. Since early 2015, Zika virus has spread rapidly through the Americas, with local transmission identified in 31 countries and territories as of February 29, 2016, including several US territories. All age groups are susceptible to Zika virus infection, including children. Maternal–fetal transmission of Zika virus has been documented; evidence suggests that congenital Zika virus infection is associated with microcephaly and other adverse pregnancy and infant outcomes. Perinatal transmission has been reported in 2 cases; 1 was asymptomatic, and the other had thrombocytopenia and a rash. Based on limited information, Zika virus infection in children is mild, similar to that in adults. The long-term sequelae of congenital, perinatal, and pediatric Zika virus infection are largely unknown. No vaccine to prevent Zika virus infection is available, and treatment is supportive. The primary means of preventing Zika virus infection is prevention of mosquito bites in areas with local Zika virus transmission. Given the possibility of limited local transmission of Zika virus in the continental United States and frequent travel from affected countries to the United States, US pediatric health care providers need to be familiar with Zika virus infection. This article reviews the Zika virus, its epidemiologic characteristics, clinical presentation, laboratory testing, treatment, and prevention to assist providers in the evaluation and management of children with possible Zika virus infection.
- Accepted March 2, 2016.
- Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics