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CDC Outlines Ways to Prevent, Diagnose and Treat Children With Zika Virus Disease

3/23/2016
Noting the rapid spread of the Zika virus, an article to be published in the May 2016 edition of Pediatrics offers health care providers guidance on how to recognize, test and treat children who show signs of infection. Diagnosis can be challenging, based on limited data that shows that most infants and children with Zika virus display mild symptoms that resemble common childhood illnesses, according to the report, “Zika Virus Disease: A CDC Update for Pediatric Health Care Providers,” by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published early online March 23. Zika virus has been identified in 37 countries and territories as of March 9, 2016. No vaccine is available to prevent infection with the virus, which is typically spread by mosquitoes and has also been reported to occur through sexual transmission from male partners. The Zika virus has been associated with birth defects, including microcephaly, with warnings issued for pregnant women to postpone travel to areas where local Zika virus transmission has been reported. Children and adults who contract the virus may show symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis. Health care providers should suspect mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus infection in children who have traveled to or resided in an affected area within the past two weeks and exhibit at least two symptoms. Treatment consists of supportive care, including rest and fluids.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 64,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.


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