Impacting Congenital Abnormalities and Infectious Complications During Pre-Conception Through Pregnancy: The Zika Prevention Program (ZPP)

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Pamela Allyn Di Vito-Thomas, PhD
Nursing Department, Methodist College, Peoria, IL, Peoria, IL, USA

Purpose: On February 1, 2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a public health emergency of international concern related to the number of births with microcephaly and other neurological disorders affected by the Zika virus (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2016). The infected mosquito (species Aedes) transmits the Zika virus as a primary infection; secondary transmission occurs during unprotected vaginal intercourse, unprotected anal intercourse, or fellatio (CDC, 2016). CDC resources indicated that men traveling to or residing in areas with active Zika virus have been found to carry the virus in their semen up to 62 days after symptoms subside. Notably, the virus will continue to spread over time, and it will be difficult to determine the effects of the virus. 80 % of persons affected may have no knowledge of caring the virus or demonstrate signs or symptoms of infection (Oster et al., 2016, Hurlburt, 2016). Also, the Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy (Martinez 2016). Therefore, the purpose of this evidence-based practice project is to investigate the Zika Prevention Program (ZPP) compared to current guidelines in decreasing the rate of congenital abnormalities and infectious complications during pre-conception through pregnancy.

Methods: Population: Currently an extreme health issue exists during critical fetal development in an affected mother. Intervention: The Zika Prevention Program (ZPP) seeks to educate the public, and set up health policies for public awareness to decrease the number of birth defects. Health education and prevention can significantly decrease the transmission of the Zika virus. More interventions need to take place in order to decrease birth defects related to Zika virus. Comparison: Current educational programing.

Results:  Outcome: Decreased rates of congenital abnormalities and infectious complications during pre-conception through pregnancy related to the Zika virus.

Conclusion:  The Zika virus is a nationally notifiable disease and healthcare providers are directed to report cases to their local health department for reportable diseases. On-going research continues to determine the outcomes for maternal Zika virus infection, as there is no treatment or vaccine for Zika virus disease at this time.