Guidelines for US Citizens and Residents Living in Areas with Ongoing Zika Virus Transmission
August 1, 2016
Secure vaccine storage and distribution services protect your inventory throughout the supply chain. Sentry BioPharma Services ensures proper vaccine storage, rotation, accurate tracking and proper distribution of vaccines for routine fulfillment or pandemic response. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) and validated cold chain storage environments minimize time-out-of-refrigeration (TOR) risks, helping to reduce or eliminate waste attributable to inadequate storage methods. Although today there is no vaccine available for Zika, several Sentry biotech clients are working to develop a vaccine for fast track clinical trials. Sentry is providing the following information from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the Zika virus in order to update our readers concerning the prevention of the spread of this worldwide epidemic.
What is Zika?
Zika is disease caused by a virus that is primarily spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Many people who get infected never have symptoms. In people who get sick, symptoms (fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes) are usually mild and resolve completely.
Zika can cause serious birth defects in babies born to women who were infected with Zika virus during pregnancy. Zika has also been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder that can cause muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. Most people fully recover from GBS, but some have permanent damage and, in some cases, people have died.
Zika can also spread when a man who has Zika has sex with female or male sex partners. A man can pass Zika to his partners even if he does not have symptoms at the time, or if his symptoms have gone away. We do not know how long a man who has had Zika can pass it on to his partners from sex. The mosquitoes that spread Zika usually do not live at elevations above 6,500 feet (2,000 meters). People who live in areas above this elevation are at a very low risk of getting Zika from a mosquito unless they visit or travel through areas of lower elevation. Because there is no vaccine or treatment for Zika, people living in areas with Zika should take steps to prevent infection.
Prevent Mosquito Bites
All residents living in areas where Zika is spreading should take steps to prevent mosquito bites:
- Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Use insect repellents that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or IR3535. Always use as directed.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
- Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children older than 2 months of age. To apply, adults should spray insect repellent onto hands and then apply to a child’s face.
- Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (boots, pants, socks, tents). You can buy pre-treated items or treat them yourself.*
- Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.
- Mosquito netting can be used to cover babies younger than 2 months old in carriers, strollers, or cribs to protect them from mosquito bites.
*Permethrin should not be used in Puerto Rico.
Pregnant Women and Zika
Zika virus can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus and can cause a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly in babies of women who had Zika virus while pregnant. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly. Other problems, such as eye defects, hearing loss, and impaired growth, have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth.
Pregnant women should not travel to any area with Zika. If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and practice safe sex during your trip.
For more information about pregnancy and Zika, visit https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/.
Practice Safe Sex
Condoms can reduce the chance of getting Zika from sex. To be effective, condoms must be used correctly from start to finish, every time during vaginal, and oral sex. A man can pass Zika to his partners even if he does not have symptoms at the time, or if his symptoms have gone away. Not having sex can eliminate the risk of getting Zika from sex.
- Men with pregnant partners should use condoms every time during sex or not have sex during the pregnancy.
- All pregnant women with male sex partners who live in or have traveled to an area with Zika should use condoms or not have sex during their pregnancy, even if their partners do not have Zika symptoms, or if their symptoms have gone away.
- All men who live in or have traveled to an area with Zika should consider using condoms to protect their sex partners.
For more information about Zika and sexual transmission, visit https://www.cdc.gov/zika/transmission/sexual-transmission.html.
Zika Testing for Pregnant Women
- All pregnant women who have visited areas with Zika should receive routine prenatal care, including an ultrasound at 18–20 weeks.
- Pregnant women who have symptoms of Zika (fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes) and have visited areas with Zika should be tested as soon as symptoms start.
- Pregnant women who do not have symptoms and have visited an area with Zika can be tested 2–12 weeks after travel.
Pregnant women with possible exposure to Zika virus from sex should be tested if either they or their male partners develop symptoms of Zika.
Discuss Pregnancy Planning with Healthcare Provider
Women and their partners should discuss pregnancy planning with a trusted doctor or healthcare provider. Women who want to get pregnant should talk with their healthcare provider about their goals for having children. They should also talk with their healthcare provider about the potential risk of Zika virus infection during pregnancy as well as their male partner’s potential exposures to Zika virus. As part of counseling with healthcare providers, some women and their partners living in areas with active Zika virus transmission might decide to delay pregnancy. CDC has guidance to help doctors counsel women who live in an area with Zika who want to get pregnant. The recommended times to wait before trying to get pregnant, based on whether either partner has had symptoms, are described below:Prevent Mosquito Bites
How Long to Wait Before Trying to Have a Baby When Living in an Area with Zika Transmission
Women who do not want to get pregnant should talk with their doctor or healthcare provider about ways to prevent unintended pregnancy, including birth control methods. Women should consider safety, effectiveness, availability, and acceptability when choosing a birth control method.
If You or Your Partner Becomes Pregnant, Talk with Your Doctor
- You are at risk of getting Zika throughout your pregnancy. For this reason, CDC recommends testing at the first prenatal visit and a second test in the second trimester.
- If you have symptoms of Zika (fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes) at any time during your pregnancy, you should be tested for Zika. A healthcare provider may also test for similar diseases, like dengue or chikungunya.
- CDC has guidance to help doctors decide what tests are needed for pregnant women who may have been exposed to Zika.
For More Information, go to www.cdc.gov and search Zika Virus.
All Countries & Territories with Active Zika Virus Transmission
As of July 26, 2016
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD)