Healthcare Provider Information

What you need to know about Zika virus

Zika virus disease is a nationally notifiable condition. Healthcare providers should report suspected Zika virus disease cases to one of the following:

  • Phone: 1-800-821-5821 (24 hours a day)
  • Fax: 1-800-293-7534 (24 hours a day)
  • TTY: Maine relay 711 (24 hours a day)

On this page:

Approximately 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become symptomatic. Symptoms include acute onset of fever with maculopapular rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis. Other commonly reported symptoms include myalgia and headache. Due to concerns with microcephaly associated with maternal Zika virus infection, fetuses and infants of women infected with Zika virus during pregnancy should be evaluated for possible congenital infection and neurologic abnormalities.

  • Preliminary diagnosis is based on the patient's clinical features, places and dates of travel, and activities. Laboratory diagnosis is generally accomplished by testing serum or plasma to detect virus, viral nucleic acid, or virus-specific immunoglobulin M and neutralizing antibodies.


Zika Testing

  • Symptomatic pregnant women:
    • Specimens should be collected as soon as possible after symptom onset for symptomatic pregnant persons living or with recent travel to areas with risk of Zika.
    • Zika NAAT (PCR) testing on serum and urine is recommended.
    • Zika IgM testing is NOT recommended.
  • Zika testing is not recommended for asymptomatic individuals or symptomatic non-pregnant individuals.

Providers Caring for Pregnant Women and Women Trying to Become Pregnant

Woman talking to healthcare providerPregnant women should be asked about possible Zika exposure before and during the current pregnancy, at every prenatal care visit. This includes areas with a federal CDC travel notice and areas with likely Zika virus transmission. Pregnant women with a sex partner that lives in or travels to an area with risk of Zika virus transmission should be educated on the sexual transmission of Zika virus and should use condoms or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy.

If a pregnant woman must travel to one of these areas, she should be strictly counseled to wear insect repellent and protective clothing, use mosquito netting, and prevent sexual transmission.

Women that are trying to become pregnant should also be asked about travel to areas with risk of Zika. Zika testing is not recommended for women trying to become pregnant and these women should be following steps to avoid sexual transmission of Zika if her or her partner traveled to an area with risk of Zika. If the woman traveled, the couple should abstain from sex or use condoms for 8 weeks. If the male traveled, the couple should abstain from sex or use condoms for 3 months.


Providers Caring for Infants & Children

Baby having ears examined by doctorInfants that are born to mothers with risk factors for maternal Zika virus infection for whom maternal testing was not performed before delivery, assessment of the infant should be performed. This includes a comprehensive physical exam, head circumference, neurologic assessment as well as newborn hearing. Further evaluation may be necessary based on possible maternal Zika virus exposure.





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