Individuals who travel to areas affected by Zika Virus could import and spread the virus to local areas. Zika is an arboviral disease and is nationally notifiable in the United States. On Jan 21, 2016 the Zika virus disease was added to the list of subtypes for Arboviral diseases, neuroinvasive and non-neuroinvasive. “Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are transmitted to humans primarily through the bites of infected mosquitoes, ticks, sand flies, or midges. Other modes of transmission for some arboviruses include blood transfusion, organ transplantation, perinatal transmission, breast feeding, and laboratory exposures.” Click here to learn more or read an excerpt below.
On January 22, 2016, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to respond to outbreaks of Zika occurring in the Americas and increased reports of birth defects and Guillain-Barré syndrome in areas affected by Zika. On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) because of clusters of microcephaly and other neurological disorders in some areas affected by Zika. On February 8, 2016, CDC elevated its EOC activation to a Level 1, the highest level.
CDC is working with international public health partners and with state and local health departments to
- Alert healthcare providers and the public about Zika.
- Post travel notices and other travel-related guidance.
- Provide state health laboratories with diagnostic tests.
- Detect and report cases, which will help prevent further spread.
Areas with active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus
- Prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
- In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infections in Brazil.
- Currently, outbreaks are occurring in many countries.
- Zika virus will continue to spread and it will be difficult to determine how and where the virus will spread over time.
- Local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus has been reported in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and America Samoa.
*Territories of the United States are sub-national administrative divisions overseen by the US federal government.
- No local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in US states, but there have been travel-associated cases.
- With the recent outbreaks, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase.
- 80% of cases will not be diagnosed.
- These imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the United States.