Suspected Domestic Zika Virus Infection in Florida Underscores the Importance of Ongoing Vigilance
Children's clinicians have consulted on 17 pregnancies and births thought to be Zika-affected
Washington, DC – Federal health officials continue to investigate the first possible cases of domestic Zika virus transmission in Florida. In light of the growing number of Zika infections, the vast majority of which have been associated with foreign travel, vigilance for additional cases is warranted - particularly as summer heat intensifies and mosquito populations grow.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now advises that all pregnant women in the continental United States and U.S. territories be evaluated for Zika infection at each prenatal care visit. The CDC also recognizes that Zika-exposed infants will require long-term, multidisciplinary care.
In mid-May, Children’s National Health System Fetal Medicine Institute and Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease announced the formation of a Congenital Zika Virus Program to serve as a dedicated resource for referring clinicians and for pregnant women to receive counseling and science-driven answers about the impact of the Zika virus on pregnancies and newborns. Children’s clinicians have consulted on 17 pregnancies or births with potential Zika virus exposure and/or infection. As of July 26, five were Zika-positive or probable. One of the pregnancies was the subject of an article published by The New England Journal of Medicine.”While we’re hopeful there are few local cases, the Congenital Zika Virus Program has been developing emergency response plans in collaboration with local departments of health to prepare for any eventuality,” says Roberta DeBiasi, MD, MS, Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease and Congenital Zika Virus Program co-leader.
The Children’s National multidisciplinary team includes:
- Adre du Plessis, MBChB, Director of the Fetal Medicine Institute, Chief of the Fetal and Transitional
Medicine Division, and Congenital Zika Virus Program co-leader;
- Roberta DeBiasi, MD, MS, Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease and Congenital Zika Virus Program co-leader;
- Cara Biddle, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Children’s Health Center, and a bilingual expert on complex care;
- Dorothy Bulas, MD, Radiologist in the Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology;
- Taeun Chang, MD, Director, Neonatal Neurology Program in the Division of Neurophysiology, Epilepsy and Critical Care Neurology;
- Sarah Mulkey, MD, PhD, Fetal-Neonatal Neurologist, Fetal Medicine Institute;
- Lindsay Pesacreta, MS, FNP-BC, Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner; and
- Gilbert Vezina, MD, attending Radiologist in the Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology and Director of the Neuroradiology Program.
- Guidelines for Referring Clinicians
- Research at a Glance
Contact: Diedtra Henderson | Children’s National Health System ; c: 443-610-9826/ o: 202-476-4500 ; [email protected]