The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued updated recommendations for health care providers treating pregnant women potentially exposed to the Zika virus.

The updated guidance no longer recommends routine testing of women who possibly were exposed to Zika unless there was ongoing potential exposure. In addition,CDC states that preconception testing to establish baseline Zika virus results for nonpregnant women is not warranted.

The guidance also updates the suggested approach for testing placental and fetal tissues and recommends:

  • asking all pregnant women, at each prenatal care visit, about possible Zika virus exposure before and during the current pregnancy;
  • testing pregnant women with recent potential Zika virus exposure and symptoms;
  • offering Zika testing three times during pregnancy to asymptomatic pregnant women with ongoing potential Zika virus exposure;
  • providing Zika testing to pregnant women who have recent possible Zika virus exposure and who have a fetus with prenatal ultrasound findings consistent with congenital Zika virus syndrome.

HRSA Awards $7M To Fight Zika in Territories

Meanwhile, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded about $7 million through two workforce development programs to fight Zika in several U.S. territories.

About $6 million of the funding will support loan repayment assistance to more than 100 clinicians in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa who committed to serving for three years through the National Health Services Corps in high-need areas.

The additional $1 million will support three grantees — from the University of Miami and Indiana University, members of America’s Essential Hospitals, as well as Children’s Hospital Los Angeles — of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities program. The grantees will use training, telehealth consultation, and interdisciplinary clinical care to support local health professionals treating children exposed prenatally to Zika.

America’s Essential Hospitals has established a resource page dedicated to this emerging public health threat. Visit this page regularly for new and updated information.