Zika Virus Awareness and Prevention Crucial in U.S.

News about the Zika virus continues to come out regularly. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made more than $85 million available to fight the Zika virus infection in the U.S., the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in May. Many hospitals throughout the country are now preparing to care for pregnant women and their babies, as more than 500 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the Zika virus, including 279 pregnant women. Most of these patients were infected while traveling outside the U. S.; however, 10 were infected through sexual intercourse with someone who traveled to an area where the Zika virus is spreading. Since only about 20 percent of the people infected by the Zika virus develop symptoms, the number of cases could be much higher.

NPD practitioners need to keep up-to-date with current information about this problem and help educate patients and families about what signs and symptoms to look for, or how to determine whether or not they should take a Zika virus test. For hospitals gearing up to care to patients with this virus, our educational planning skills can be invaluable in preparing staff members to care for these patients. For those who will be traveling this summer, protection while enjoying the outdoors in an area where mosquitos could be prevalent is prudent.

The American Nurses Association website has a wealth of information on what nurses need to know and what resources are available. Read more .

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