Posted on April 19, 2016
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made it official – Zika virus infection in pregnant woman causes microcephaly in infants and other severe fetal abnormalities. This marks the first time that health officials have definitively linked a mosquito-borne virus with congenital brain defects. While the CDC report focused only on links between Zika and fetal abnormalities, the virus is also being linked more frequently with neurological problems like Guillain-Barré syndrome in infected adults. There is also considerable evidence that the virus can be sexually transmitted.
Wolters Kluwer has responded to this emerging public health threat by making available to healthcare professionals a variety of medical information and resources to help effectively diagnose and treat Zika virus infection. The resources include three new Zika virus order sets for use in pediatric, adult emergency and adult outpatient settings within our ProVation® Order Sets software.
The ProVation Order Sets medical content team has had Zika virus on the radar since early last year, and when the World Health Organization warned about the growing risks, we went to work developing the evidence-based content providers need to ensure best practices in diagnosing and treating the disease. As our medical content team began work on the new order sets, we collaborated with UpToDate® Decision Support editors to determine the appropriate topics and clinical settings. Throughout the process, UpToDate kept us informed of updated guidance and adjustments to their content to ensure full alignment with the order sets.
This new CDC report should serve as a clarion call to healthcare providers to prepare for a potential population health event caused by Zika virus. Since the beginning of 2015, the CDC reports nearly 700 cases of Zika virus infection – 346 in the states and another 351 in the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. Most of the cases reported within the states were associate with travel to areas with active Zika virus outbreaks and a small percentage are associated with sexual transmission of the virus. These numbers could increase significantly, especially in southern states, as mosquito season returns to the contiguous states.
Zika virus order set templates from ProVation Order Sets are available for download by healthcare professionals. Click here to access the order sets.