Zika virus: interim guidance for GPs

25 Feb 2016

The Department of Health (DoH) has released interim guidelines for the management of pregnant women with Zika virus exposure and recommendations to reduce the risk of sexual transmission of Zika virus.

The evidence for a causal link between Zika virus infection and severe congenital malformations is still evolving and there is only limited information available from which to estimate the risk of sexual transmission of Zika virus. However, an expert working group convened by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia has provided the following guidance for GPs:

Management of pregnant women: GPs should inquire about travel history among all pregnant women. Those with a positive history of travel to a Zika virus-affected country during or immediately prior to pregnancy should be evaluated.

Preventing sexual transmission: men who have travelled to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission whose partner is pregnant should abstain from sexual activity (vaginal, anal, or oral) or consistently use condoms for the duration of the pregnancy, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic. Men who have had a confirmed Zika virus infection, whose partner is not pregnant should abstain from sexual activity (vaginal, anal, or oral) or consistently use condoms for 3 months following the resolution of symptoms.