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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Health officials released new guidelines for evaluating and testing infants that may have the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
The virus has spread through parts of central and South America, the Pacific Islands, Africa and Puerto Rico.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with the American Academy of Pediatrics came up with the guidelines released Tuesday.
The guidelines are particularly for infants born to mothers who traveled or resided in an area with the Zika virus while pregnant. They cover how the infants should be evaluated, tested and managed if this were the case.
The guidelines were released after the CDC issued a travel alert for pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant.
The CDC warns of a possible link between the virus and birth defects like Microcephaly – a neurological disorder that can cause babies to be born with abnormally small heads.
They are also investigating a possible link between Zika and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). The CDC say GBS has been reported in patients with probable Zika virus infection in French Polynesia and Brazil.
Three cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in Florida.
While there is no vaccine or medicine to treat the Zika virus, the CDC says there are forms of prevention like:
- Using insect repellent that contains things like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products.
- Treating clothing with permethrin.
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Using air conditioning or windows/door screens to keep mosquitoes out.
- Reducing the amount of mosquitoes inside and outside your home or hotel by emptying standing water from containers.
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