It’s time to raise the index of suspicion when it comes to the Zika virus: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recently reported a suspected female-to-male sexual transmission of Zika virus.1
According to information from the CDC, a woman engaged in sex without a condom with a male partner the day she returned to New York City from travel to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission. Tests of her serum and urine later tested positive for Zika virus RNA. Seven days after intercourse with the woman, the male partner developed Zika-related symptoms. Zika virus RNA was detected in his urine, but not serum, the CDC said. An interview indicated the man had not traveled outside the United States during the year before his illness, had any other recent sexual partners, or been bitten by a mosquito.1
On July 19, the Florida Department of Health announced that it was conducting an investigation with the CDC into a possible non-travel related case of Zika virus in Miami-Dade County. The CDC also is assisting in the investigation of a case of Zika in a Utah resident who is a family contact of an elderly Utah resident who died in late June. The deceased patient had traveled to an area with Zika. Lab tests showed he had uniquely high amounts of virus. Laboratories reported evidence of Zika infection in both Utah residents.
The CDC has awarded $25 million in funding to support efforts to protect Americans from Zika virus infection and associated health outcomes, including microcephaly and other serious birth defects.
“These CDC funds will enable states and territories to strengthen their Zika preparedness and response plans,” said Stephen Redd, MD, director of CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response in a prepared statement. “Although the continental United States has not yet seen local transmission of the Zika virus, mosquito season is here, and states must continue to both work to prevent transmission and prepare for their first local case.”
A total of $25 million in fiscal year 2016 preparedness and response funding has been awarded to 53 state, city, and territorial health departments in areas at risk for outbreaks of Zika. The funding became effective July 1 and can be used through June 2017.
Many online resources are becoming available to healthcare providers to help respond to the Zika virus challenge. A new health provider toolkit from the CDC and the Office of Population Affairs has been developed to bring urgently needed, evidence-based guidance to clinicians.
The CDC offers a wide variety of materials for providers and patients at http://bit.ly/2a4HOns. Available resources include testing algorithms, fact sheets on testing, and information on preconception counseling. Other information pertinent to clinicians is available at http://bit.ly/1VuapPd.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) held a free webinar, “Biting Back: Contraception and Zika Prevention,” July 21. Led by Melissa Kottke, MD, MPH, MBA, associate professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University in Atlanta, the seminar is designed to review the latest guidance on Zika and the role of contraception, including long-acting reversible methods. (ACOG said the link to the webinar would be on the Zika information page at http://bit.ly/2a257Pq. The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals maintains a Zika Resource Center at www.arhp.org/zika. AHC Media offers coverage at reliasmedia.com/Zika.)
- Davidson A, Slavinski S, Komoto K, et al. Suspected female-to-male sexual transmission of Zika virus — New York City, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016; available at http://bit.ly/2ac8hN0.