Zika Virus Disease and Current Travel-Associated Viral Diseases of Concern

Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been reported in 24 countries and territories in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania/Pacific Islands. Zika virus causes a mild illness in 20% of those infected, with symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes beginning within 14 days of travel to a country with Zika virus transmission.  Additionally, in Brazil and other countries with Zika virus transmission, an unusual increase in the number of infants born with microcephaly has been reported.  The virus is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which is not native to California but has been detected in 12 California counties. Thus far, the few Zika virus disease cases reported in Californians have occurred in returning travelers; no local transmission has been identified.  Health care providers should obtain travel histories from patients with a febrile illness, and consider testing for dengue fever, chikungunya, or Zika virus disease in persons with a compatible clinical presentation and a history of travel to Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania/Pacific Islands.  Providers should counsel patients who are pregnant or who are attempting to become pregnant about special travel precautions and preventing mosquito bites.

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