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ii. Important news: Zika virus

Zika virus: sample testing advice webpage has been updated

Highlights:


•    Zika virus testing is provided ONLY for individuals who have or have had symptoms, NOT for asymptomatic individuals, including asymptomatic pregnant women; this is consistent with WHO guidelines
•    Zika virus serology is now provided for individuals with previous Zika–like symptoms, as well as those with current symptoms
•    Clinicians are advised to consider the possibility of sexually acquired infection in the symptomatic partners of travellers to Zika-affected countries
•    The updated guidance includes a table showing what standard samples to send to Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory for Zika virus testing
•    RIPL must be contacted for discussion before special (i.e. non-standard) samples such as semen or amniotic fluid are submitted for testing
•    Patients should never be directed to call RIPL to discuss Zika virus testing 

The RCOG algorithm and guidance for the management of pregnant women exposed to Zika virus has also been updated to take account of Zika virus serology test results.

Highlights:

•    Pregnant cases diagnosed with Zika virus by serological testing are managed in exactly the same way as those diagnosed by PCR,  i.e. they should be referred to Fetal Medicine Unit
•    Symptomatic pregnant returned travellers with negative Zika virus antibody results on serum collected 4 or more weeks after the last possible travel-associated or sexual exposure do not require further extra fetal ultrasound follow-up. That is, these women for whom 4-weekly fetal ultrasound scans were previously advised, can return to normal pregnancy care, unless there are additional concerns
•    Note that for asymptomatic pregnant returned travellers, fetal USS at specific time points is now recommended instead of consideration of 4 weekly fetal USS; this is consistent with WHO guidelines

Please contact the WoSSVC with any question you have regarding Zika virus (tel: 38722 / 0141 201 38722)