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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Health Protection Guidance - Zika virus

Public Health England have issued guidance on Zika virus. The guidance contains information on epidemiology, symptoms, transmission, diagnosis and travel advice.

There are also links to travel advice portals, an algorithm for assessing pregnant women following travel and specific guidance for clinicians working in primary care.

The main advice points for primary care are:

  • All travellers to areas with active Zika virus transmission should practise mosquito bite avoidance measures
  • Pregnant women planning to travel should consider avoiding travel to areas with active Zika transmission
  • All pregnant women who have recently travelled to a country where active Zika transmission is reported should notify their primary care clinician, obstetrician or midwife
  • An application of insect repellent containing 50% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) will repel mosquitoes for approximately 12 hours; such repellents containing 50% DEET can be used by pregnant women
  • To reduce the risk of sexual transmission to woman of child bearing age, including those already pregnant, male partners should use a condom for 28 days after arriving from an affected area or 6 months following recovery if a clinical illness compatible with Zika virus infection or laboratory-confirmed Zika virus infection was reported

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this guidance and ensure they implement the recommendations.

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