Zika Virus: Practical Information for the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

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Abstract

The ongoing Zika virus outbreak in South, Central, and, most recently, North America has become a global health care emergency. Originally thought to be a benign, self-limiting viral syndrome, the newest epidemic has provided convincing evidence that maternal Zika virus infection can lead to neonatal malformations, the so-called congenital Zika syndrome. The alarming number of microcephalic neonates being born during the current outbreak is most notable, though several other anomalies, such as arthrogryposis, redundant scalp tissue, and cranial collapse, have been reported. Additionally, Zika virus represents an occupational hazard to plastic and reconstructive surgeons and their teams, as well as an infectious risk to patients receiving blood and human tissue products. In this article, we aim to provide current disease-related information to help guide the practicing plastic surgeon in the safe and effective management of patients affected by congenital Zika syndrome and to educate plastic surgeons regarding occupational and transmissivity risks of Zika virus.

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