Zika virus: Obstetric and pediatric anesthesia considerations

Jacqueline L. Tutiven, Benjamin T. Pruden, James S. Banks, Mario Stevenson, David J. Birnbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


As of November 2016, the Florida Department of Health (FDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed more than 4000 travel-related Zika virus (ZIKV) infections in the United States with >700 of those in Florida. There have been 139 cases of locally acquired infection, all occurring in Miami, Florida. Within the US territories (eg, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands), >30,000 cases of ZIKV infection have been reported. The projected number of individuals at risk for ZIKV infection in the Caribbean and Latin America approximates 5 million. Similar to Dengue and Chikungunya viruses, ZIKV is spread to humans by infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, through travel-associated local transmission, via sexual contact, and through blood transfusions. South Florida is an epicenter for ZIKV infection in the United States and the year-round warm climate along with an abundance of mosquito vectors that can harbor the flavivirus raise health care concerns. ZIKV infection is generally mild with clinical manifestations of fever, rash, conjunctivitis, and arthralgia. Of greatest concern, however, is growing evidence for the relationship between ZIKV infection of pregnant women and increased incidence of abnormal pregnancies and congenital abnormalities in the newborn, now medically termed ZIKA Congenital Syndrome. Federal health officials are observing 899 confirmed Zika-positive pregnancies and the FDH is currently monitoring 110 pregnant women with evidence of Zika infection. The University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital is uniquely positioned just north of downtown Miami and within the vicinity of Liberty City, Little Haiti, and Miami Beach, which are currently "hot spots" for Zika virus exposure and transmissions. As the FDH works fervently to prevent a Zika epidemic in the region, health care providers at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital prepare for the clinical spectrum of ZIKV effects as well as the safe perioperative care of the parturients and their affected newborns. In an effort to meet anesthetic preparedness for the care of potential Zika-positive patients and perinatal management of babies born with ZIKA Congenital Syndrome, this review highlights the interim guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also suggest anesthetic implications and recommendations. In addition, this article reviews guidance for the evaluation and anesthetic management of infants with congenital ZIKV infection. To better manage the perioperative care of affected newborns, this article also reviews the comparative anesthetic implications of babies born with related congenital malformations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1918-1929
Number of pages12
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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