The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued interim guidelines that urge providers to screen pregnant women for Zika virus transmission if they have traveled to areas identified as containing high levels of infection and meet one of these criteria:

  • report at least two related symptoms within two weeks of potential exposure
  • undergo an ultrasound that identifies fetal microcephaly or intracranial calcifications

Four people have tested positive for the Zika virus in New York, according to local health officials. Exposure to the virus has been suspected to cause an increased prevalence of neurological disorders and neonatal malformations.

The first cases of the Zika virus were found in Brazil in May 2015. The virus now has spread to 23 countries in the Americas. Only one in five people infected with the Zika virus, which is transmitted through mosquitoes, will show symptoms. No treatment for the virus exists; experts say rest and fluids are the best option for recovery.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127.