We told you earlier that residents of Miami have been infected with Zika virus transmitted by local mosquitos, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to dispatch an emergency response team and revise its guidance on testing and prevention. Regardless of how likely or unlikely further domestic exposure may be, media attention and summer travel plans are likely to drive more patients with concerns about Zika to urgent centers. As such, operators are advised to familiarize themselves with the CDC guidance. Current recommendations expand the testing window for pregnant women from 7 days to 14 days after the first sign of symptoms. Further, the CDC is urging all individuals—especially pregnant women—who may have been exposed to Zika to be tested, even if they have no symptoms. Given that patients are not as likely to visit an urgent care center if they don’t have symptoms, this puts the onus on clinicians to probe for possible exposure. Dipak Delvadia, DO, president of the Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia and assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Drexel University, has started asking patients about their (and their spouse’s or sexual partner’s) travel history. Familiarity with Zika symptoms and areas of possible transmission may also help clinicians sooth the nerves of worried patients.
Urgent Care Needs to Prepare for Zika Visits