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Surveillance of congenital Zika syndrome in England and Wales: methods and results of laboratory, obstetric and paediatric surveillance

  • C. Oeser (a1), E. Aarons (a2), P.T. Heath (a3), K. Johnson (a4), A. Khalil (a5), M Knight (a6), R. M. Lynn (a1), D. Morgan (a1) and R. Pebody (a1)...

Abstract

The spread of the Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Americas led to large outbreaks across the region and most of the Southern hemisphere. Of greatest concern were complications following acute infection during pregnancy. At the beginning of the outbreak, the risk to unborn babies and their clinical presentation was unclear. This report describes the methods and results of the UK surveillance response to assess the risk of ZIKV to children born to returning travellers. Established surveillance systems operating within the UK – the paediatric and obstetric surveillance units for rare diseases, and national laboratory monitoring – enabled rapid assessment of this emerging public health threat. A combined total of 11 women experiencing adverse pregnancy outcomes after possible ZIKV exposure were reported by the three surveillance systems; five miscarriages, two intrauterine deaths and four children with clinical presentations potentially associated with ZIKV infection. Sixteen women were diagnosed with ZIKV during pregnancy in the UK. Amongst the offspring of these women, there was unequivocal laboratory evidence of infection in only one child. In the UK, the number and risk of congenital ZIKV infection for travellers returning from ZIKV-affected countries is very small.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Clarissa Oeser, E-mail: Clarissa_oeser@yahoo.com

References

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1.Zanluca, C et al. (2015) First report of autochthonous transmission of Zika virus in Brazil. Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 110, 569572.
2.Knight, M et al. (2005) The UK obstetric surveillance system for rare disorders of pregnancy. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 112, 263265.
3.Petridou, C et al. (2019) Zika virus infection in travellers returning to the United Kingdom during the period of the outbreak in the Americas (2016–17): a retrospective analysis. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 29, 2127.
4.DeSilva, M et al. (2017) Congenital microcephaly: case definition & guidelines for data collection, analysis, and presentation of safety data after maternal immunisation. Vaccine 35(48 Part A), 64726482.
5.Ammon Avalos, L, Galindo, C and Li, DK (2012) A systematic review to calculate background miscarriage rates using life table analysis. Birth Defects Research Part A Clinical and Molecular Teratololgy 94, 417423.

Keywords

Surveillance of congenital Zika syndrome in England and Wales: methods and results of laboratory, obstetric and paediatric surveillance

  • C. Oeser (a1), E. Aarons (a2), P.T. Heath (a3), K. Johnson (a4), A. Khalil (a5), M Knight (a6), R. M. Lynn (a1), D. Morgan (a1) and R. Pebody (a1)...

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