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.
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,
follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.