VOLUME 40 - NUMBER 1 - 2019

Surveillance of pregnant women with potential exposure to Zika virus following travel

  • Spiliopoulos D., Panchal M., Economides D.L.
  • Clinical practice, 58-65
  • Full text PDF

  • Aim. To describe the experience of a single fetal medicine unit in evaluating pregnant women with potential exposure to Zika virus (ZIKV) following travel.

    Method. Between February 2016 and June 2017, a multidisciplinary team evaluated pregnant women by developing a local pathway based on Public Health England guidance. All pregnant women were offered serial fetal ultrasound scans (USS). If they presented with a history of clinical symptoms consistent with ZIKV infection during or within two weeks of travel or fetal USS was suggestive of microcephaly, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) and/or serology was used. Results. 69 women were referred. Eight patients reported symptoms consistent with ZIKV infection (11.6%) and six (8.7%) patients reported mosquito bites. Maternal exposure was mainly during the preconception period and the first trimester in 35 (50.8%) and 19 (27.5%) women, respectively. Prenatally, there was no evidence of microcephaly in any of the 69 referrals. Sixty-two live births and seven miscarriages were reported. One patient had serology confirming ZIKV infection during pregnancy. At birth, 57 babies had normal head circumference (HC) measurements, including the baby born to the Zika positive mother. Two babies had small HC measurements but were not infected and were small for gestational age.

    Conclusions. One case of maternal ZIKV infection was detected but without any fetal congenital abnormalities postnatally. The number of potentially infected patients referred to our unit is a demonstration of the concern regarding perinatal ZIKV infection in the pregnant population.

  • KEY WORDS: Pregnancy - Zika virus (ZIKV) - Microcephaly - Head circumference.