Health care professionals are on the front lines in the fight against Zika, and the Florida Department of Health is committed to ensuring that practitioners have the most current and comprehensive information available. It was thanks to the keen observation of astute local clinicians that the department was made aware of the first cases of Zika in Florida.

Clinicians are reminded to identify the possible symptoms of Zika, test suspected cases and pregnant women and inform your county health department on the same business day. Please review the information and resources below and know that department’s CHDs and Bureau of Epidemiology are available to assist you with questions about Zika virus testing protocols and sample submission requests.

Testing

There are three types of Zika testing:

  • PCR – This test checks if you have active Zika.
  • IgM – This test checks if you have Zika antibodies; Zika antibodies indicate that you had Zika but do not have active Zika
  • PRNT – This is a special test that differentiates between Zika and other similar arboviruses like dengue and chikungunya. In 2016, only the CDC had the capability to conduct this test. The department has expanded the capacity of our state public health labs and we now can process these tests in Florida.

General

CDC recommends testing people who have 2 or more symptoms with history of travel to a Zika endemic area; or have 3 or more symptoms if they suspect local transmission; or if a person lives, works, or frequents an area of active, ongoing transmission.

Pregnant Women

CDC recommends that symptomatic pregnant women with possible Zika exposure should be tested for Zika virus infection. Possible Zika exposure includes people who live in or have recently traveled to an area with documented or likely Zika virus transmission, or who have had sex without a condom with a partner (male or female) who lives in or has traveled to an area with risk of Zika virus infection. Testing recommendations for asymptomatic pregnant women with possible Zika exposure differ depending on where they traveled. See CDC’s site here for more. Serial sonograms and additional testing are recommended by the CDC, depending on the results of testing for pregnant women.

DOH Zika testing guidance for pregnant women (Aug 2017)

DOH Zika guidance for clinicians (Aug 2017)

DOH Zika HAN (May 2017)

Infants & Babies

CDC recommends laboratory testing for congenital Zika for infants born to mothers with laboratory evidence of Zika during pregnancy, and for infants who have abnormal clinical findings suggestive of congenital Zika virus syndrome and a maternal epidemiologic link suggesting possible transmission, regardless of maternal Zika virus test results.

For more information, see the CDC’s pages on treatment.

Additional physician resources linked below:

Think Zika / Spanish

CHD Guidance on Testing Pregnant Women for Zika Virus Infection – 09/16/2016

HMS Guidance for County Health Departments for Ordering Zika Testing for Pregnant Women – 08/15/2016

Laboratory Packaging and Shipping Guidance Document – Updated 02/28/2017

Zika Questionnaire for Providers – 08/04/2016

Enhanced Surveillance for ED Visits – Updated 02/08/2016

Information for Obstetricians – Updated 10/05/2016

Zika Testing FAQ – Updated 02/28/2017

Zika OBGYN Webinar – 10/27/2016

CDC – Laboratory guidance for handling and transporting Zika virus

Join Zika Care Connect

If you are ready and willing to support patients affected by Zika, the department encourages you to sign up for Zika Care Connect.

CDC has established Zika Care Connect that provides a searchable network of health care professionals who care for patients affected by Zika. These health care professionals receive the latest medical information from CDC that enables them to care for patients with Zika based on the most up-to-date information.