Update: Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women with Possible Zika Virus Exposure — United States (Including U.S. Territories), July 2017
CDC has updated the interim guidance for U.S. health care providers caring for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure in response to 1) declining prevalence of Zika virus disease in the World Health Organization’s Region of the Americas (Americas) and 2) emerging evidence indicating prolonged detection of Zika virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies.
As the prevalence of Zika virus disease declines, the likelihood of false-positive test results increases. In addition, emerging epidemiologic and laboratory data indicate that, as is the case with other flaviviruses, Zika virus IgM antibodies can persist beyond 12 weeks after infection. Therefore, IgM test results cannot always reliably distinguish between an infection that occurred during the current pregnancy and one that occurred before the current pregnancy, particularly for women with possible Zika virus exposure before the current pregnancy. These limitations should be considered when counseling pregnant women about the risks and benefits of testing for Zika virus infection during pregnancy.
This updated guidance emphasizes a shared decision-making model for testing and screening pregnant women, one in which patients and providers work together to make decisions about testing and care plans based on patient preferences and values, clinical judgment, and a balanced assessment of risks and expected outcomes.
For these recommendations, the definition of possible Zika virus exposure has not changed and includes travel to, or residence in an area with risk for mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission or sex with a partner who has traveled to or resides in an area with risk for mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission.