The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a summary of key considerations for health care facilities, including hospitals and health systems, as they prepare to receive patients potentially infected with the Zika virus. The document outlines nine steps health care facilities should take, including knowing the clinical manifestations of the virus, how to assess pregnant women and advise against sexual transmission during pregnancy, reporting and use of standard precautions. In addition, the document notes steps health care settings can take to educate patients and their families about the disease, transmission and steps to avoid infection.
Although there are confirmed Zika cases in Washington State, the virus has been contracted during trips to regions where mosquitos carrying the virus are present. There are also numerous resources for Washington State providers caring for patients who are known to have or are suspected of having a Zika infection. Click here to learn more about local resources. (Tim Pfarr)