Zika Virus Infection– In the past three weeks, local, state, national and international news networks have been covering a “new” virus called Zika. Sensational news reports have concentrated on the precipitous rise in microcephalic cases primarily in Brazil. Along the way, some news agencies have mentioned other Central and South American countries. The signs and symptoms have been glossed over but the mode of transmission by mosquitoes has been stressed. Two weeks ago, the Brazilian army was shown fanning out around Rio de Janiero to spray insecticides on water containing vesicles for prevention of transmission during the 2016 Carnival. Only on BBC World News was there a mention of Guillain-Barré Syndrome where a young man was shown relearning to walk while another older gentleman lay unmoving in a hospital bed.
The impression given by the news media is that this illness belongs solely to poverty stricken third-world countries. Travel-imported cases in the United States have been covered by state only and only in terms of numbers. Essentially, this coverage has led the United States citizenry to believe that the illness is benign except in the case of pregnancy. Young women who are pregnant seem to be the most at risk while men have nothing to worry about. The news agencies have covered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in terms of travel restrictions for pregnant women. Little to no coverage has focused on other complications which can affect all ages, races and sexes.
Learning more unbiased information about the Zika epidemic should lead to better prevention strategies on the part of individuals and countries in order to control this outbreak. Better assessment and management of individuals who have Zika virus infection should lead to better outcomes and less complications.
Relate the virology of ZIKV including group, family, genus and species.
Describe the hypothesized pathogenesis of the mosquito-borne flaviviruses.
Describe the modes of transmission of the Zika virus and factors which are hypothesized to be causing its rapid spread.
Describe potential complications of Zika virus infection.
Discuss the clinical assessment and management of Zika virus infection in terms of health history, signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, laboratory/diagnostic tests, perinatal diagnosis, fetal/infant diagnosis and treatment.
Describe local, state and national reporting procedures for Zika virus infection.
Describe personal and environmental measures being implemented to control the spread of Zika virus infection.
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