A growing threat to maternal–fetal health, the most recent and largest outbreak of the Zika virus disease has introduced the devastating fetal effects of microcephaly and other central nervous system deficits.
This brief outlines a history of Zika virus disease, its known effects, best practice recommendations for providers to educate patients, and information for individuals on how to protect themselves.
A search of the literature using the databases PubMed, UptoDate, and CINAHL was conducted for articles published between 2009 and 2016. Key informant interviews with clinical genetics and public health professionals were conducted.
The proposed best practice recommendations for education regarding the Zika virus disease and appropriate prevention and treatment methods are outlined.
As the Zika virus continues to spread and further research is conducted regarding its teratogenic effects, the need for concise and effective education is critical to raise awareness, decrease the potential for maternal exposure, and reduce fetal risks.
Therefore, the need for appropriate recognition, treatment, management, and prevention of the Zika virus disease prompts the necessity for further education and high-quality level research to be conducted and utilized.
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (Ms Towers); and The University of Arizona College of Nursing, Tucson, Arizona (Ms Towers, Dr M. Goldsmith and Ms P. Goldsmith).
Correspondence: Victoria S. Towers, BSN, RN, Mayo Clinic, 81 Grande Isle Ave SW, Rochester, MN 55902 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There are no known conflicts of interest for financial or other reasons.
Authors' contributions: V.S.T. conducted the literature review, interviewed the corresponding parties, and drafted the manuscript. M.G. and P.G. assisted in revising the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.