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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
May 10, 2016

Protecting Health Workers From Zika During Labor and Delivery

JAMA. 2016;315(18):1939. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4781

Labor and delivery can be joyous for new parents and the health professionals who help bring infants into the world. But the birthing process also exposes physicians and nurses to large volumes of patients’ body fluids, reinforcing the need for extra vigilance in observing infection control measures as protection against possible Zika virus infection.

The CDC recently explained that even though occupational Zika virus transmission from patient to health worker hasn’t been documented, standard precautions—hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, safe injection practices, and safe handling of potentially contaminated equipment or surfaces around patients—are essential during labor and delivery (Olson CK et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65[11]:290-292).