CDC updates guidance on interpretation of Zika testing results for pregnant women

Health Care Comments Off

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated guidance for healthcare professionals to interpret Zika test results for women who live in, or frequently travel (daily or weekly) to areas with a CDC Zika travel notice.

Emerging data suggests that Zika virus IgM can persist beyond 12 weeks after infection in some individuals making it difficult to determine the timing of infection, especially in testing of asymptomatic people. It may not be easy to determine whether women were infected before or after they became pregnant.

Hence, the CDC has recommended the following guidance for healthcare professionals evaluating women without symptoms who had potential Zika exposure—particularly women who live in or frequently travel (daily or weekly) to areas with CDC Zika travel notices.

• Screen pregnant women for risk of Zika exposure and symptoms of Zika. Test pregnant women promptly, using nucleic acid testing (NAT), if they develop symptoms at any point during pregnancy or if their sexual partner tests positive for Zika virus infection
• Consider NAT testing at least once during each trimester of pregnancy to detect evidence of Zika virus, unless a previous test has been positive
• Consider testing specimens obtained during amniocentesis to detect evidence of Zika virus if amniocentesis is performed for other reasons
• Counsel all pregnant women each trimester about the limitations of Zika testing

(Source: CDC Press Release, May 5, 2017)

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA & HCFI