Zika virus infection: Control and prevention : Journal of the Chinese Medical Association

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Letter to the Editor

Zika virus infection: Control and prevention

Wiwanitkit, Viroj*

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Journal of the Chinese Medical Association: July 2016 - Volume 79 - Issue 7 - p 409
doi: 10.1016/j.jcma.2016.04.002

    Dear Editor,

    The recent publication on Zika virus infection was a very interesting article.1 Chen and Tang1 mentioned that “the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) activated ZIKV as a Category V Notifiable Infectious Disease similar to Ebola virus disease and MERS”, and noted that “the only way to prevent congenital ZIKV infection is to prevent maternal infection.” In fact, several countries have already implemented similar control and categorized the Zika virus as a Notifiable Infectious Disease. However, of greater concern is the knowledge of the public health practitioners on this new disease. Since the disease is very difficult to differentiate from other tropical infections, it is very difficult to make an early diagnosis.2–4 Therefore, the disease notification might not be complete. Focusing on prevention, in particular, how to prevent maternal infection is a very big issue. As a mosquito-borne disease, it is very hard to prevent mosquito bites. Burd and Griffin 5 noted that “women desiring pregnancies who are identified to travel, have a partner traveling to, or living in the areas of Zika infections should be encouraged to have a preconception consultation with maternal fetal medicine.” In summary, the present Zika virus infection is an actual important disease that is very difficult to control and to prevent. Mosquito prevention is the basic concept but it is usually not successful. For any women, especially for pregnant women, avoiding visits to the endemic risk areas is the recommendation. In cases where travel is actually needed, contraception should be considered for nonpregnant women. For pregnant women, use of standard mosquito preventive tools (net, repellant, etc.) is suggested and a short visit duration should be arranged. Antenatal care and fetal monitoring after traveling should also be arranged.

    References

    1. Chen HL, Tang RB. Why Zika virus infection has become a public health concern? J Chin Med Assoc. 2016;79:174-178.
    2. Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Zika virus infection and dengue: a new problem in diagnosis in a dengue-endemic area. Ann Trop Med Public Health. 2015;8:145-146.
    3. Wiwanitkit S, Wiwanitkit V. Afebrile, asymptomatic and nonthrombocytopenic Zika virus infection: don’t miss it!. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apjtm.2016.03.036 In press
    4. Korzeniewski K, Juszczak D, Zwolińska E. Zika—another threat on the epidemiological map of the world. Int Marit Health. 2016;67:31-37.
    5. Burd I, Griffin D. The chasm between public health and reproductive research: what history tells us about Zika virus. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2016;33:439-440.
    © 2016 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.