CDC Offers New Zika Guidelines for Clinicians Caring for Kids and Breastfeeding Moms — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 20, 2016

CDC Offers New Zika Guidelines for Clinicians Caring for Kids and Breastfeeding Moms

By Kelly Young

Edited by William E. Chavey, MD, MS, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

The CDC has published new guidelines for evaluating, testing, and managing infants, children, and breastfeeding mothers with suspected Zika infection.

Here are some of the agency's recommendations, published in MMWR:

  • Routine care of infants is advised for those without signs of microcephaly who were born to women who traveled to or lived in regions with local Zika transmission during their pregnancy and weren't tested for Zika or tested negative.

  • For newborns with abnormalities besides microcephaly or intracranial calcifications whose mothers were in Zika-affected areas, clinicians should consider testing the mother for Zika before testing the infant.

  • Zika infection should be suspected in pediatric patients who were both in a Zika-affected region in the prior 2 weeks and have two or more of the following: fever, rash, conjunctivitis, or arthralgia. For infants less than 2 weeks old with the aforementioned symptoms, Zika should be suspected if the mother was in a Zika area 2 weeks before delivery. Zika infection in children is usually mild, the authors note.

  • Mothers infected with Zika should still be encouraged to breastfeed their infants. While Zika RNA has been detected in breast milk, there is no evidence that it is transmissible by breastfeeding.

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