Puerto Rico says Zika outbreak has ended, CDC maintains travel warning: 3 notes

Puerto Rico Health officials on Monday declared the island's Zika outbreak over. However, the CDC maintains its travel guidance for the island, advising pregnant women not to travel to the U.S. territory, according to STAT.

Here are three things to know.

1. The Puerto Rico Department of Health identified an average of 10 new Zika cases for every four-week period since mid-April — a considerable decrease from the more than 8,000 cases reported every four weeks around the same time last year, according to STAT.

"In coordination with the CDC, we have put in place a comprehensive program focused on preparation, prevention, precaution and surveillance," Puerto Rico Health Secretary Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, MD, said in a prepared statement cited by STAT. "These efforts can be used as a model for other regions experiencing local Zika virus transmission."

2. Despite the slowdown in reported cases, the CDC has not lifted its travel guidance on the island, which it recently did for Miami-Dade County, Fla., where no new cases of locally acquired Zika have been detected in more than 45 days.

"We are pleased that the peak of the Zika virus outbreak in Puerto Rico has come to a close," said Anne Schuchat, MD, acting director of the CDC, according to a statement obtained by STAT. "However, we cannot let our guard down. CDC will continue to focus on protecting pregnant women and work closely with PRDH to‎ support comprehensive Zika surveillance and prevention efforts on the island."

3. STAT previously reported on possible acrimony between the CDC and PRDH, which may have resulted in the territory underreporting the occurrence of Zika-related birth defects on the island.

The CDC identified 80 adversely affected pregnancies among 1,579 Zika infections documented in pregnant women across all 50 U.S. states. However, of the 3,703 women in Puerto Rico who were diagnosed with Zika during pregnancy, the island's health department has reported less than half of the affected pregnancies identified by the CDC in the U.S., according to STAT.

More articles on the Zika virus: 
Testing for Zika increases 37% nationwide, athenahealth finds 
1 in 4 babies born to Zika-infected mothers receive proper follow up 
Lab test error leads to false negative for pregnant woman, 2 others with Zika

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars