an e-mail from Dr. Eric Weinberg, PM Pediatrics Director of Education
As many of you know, we had to reschedule our Pediatric Urgent Care Conference from Puerto Rico to NYC because of the worsening Zika virus outbreak in Puerto Rico. A small number of Zika cases have been reported in the continental US (all travel associated), so it is important that we all stay knowledgeable on this emerging public health crisis. Below is a summary I put together from the CDC and local health departments.
Yes, but so far all are travel associated. As per the CDC, there are have been no local mosquito-borne cases in the continental US.
Here are the totals for our region (per the CDC):
NY – 23 travel associated cases
NJ – 1 travel-associated case
MD – 3 travel associated cases
The mosquito that transmits Zika (Aedes aegypti) is rarely found in our region, so it is unlikely to become widespread in our area (as long as it does not change and become carried by a local species of mosquito).
Most Zika infections are asymptomatic (80%) or result in a mild illness. Suspect Zika in patients who have traveled to endemic areas (South and Central America, Carribean) and have fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgias, and conjunctivitis.
Zika has also been associated with microcephaly in infants (unlikely to be an issue for our population) and possible Guillan-Barre.
The link between Zika and Guillan Barre is becoming more definitive (the first study providing evidence of Zika causing Guillan Barre was published this month in Lancet). Click this link for more info.
Zika virus is a reportable illness, and testing should be performed and sent to your local DOH. I am attaching links for each state with guides on how to test and where to send samples. (Patients: your healthcare provider will take care of this on your behalf.)
DON’T FORGET: Our new scheduled date for the Pediatric Urgent Care Conference will be June 1 – 3 at the Sheraton Times Square. We’re excited! Check PUCConference.com for registration details.
I hope you find this information helpful.
Eric Weinberg MD
Fellowship Director, Pediatric Urgent Care Medicine
Director of Education