Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and Zika Virus Infection

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To the Editor:
The publication on Zika virus infection is very interesting.1 Calotta et al1 noted that “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.” We would like to discuss and share ideas on this report. First, the microcephalic neonate is an important problem because of congenital Zika virus disease. Nevertheless, many infants born to infected mothers do not develop microcephaly. In Asia, the microcephaly is rarely observed and it is proposed that there might be other additional factors contributing to microcephalic neonates.2 The role of plastic and reconstructive surgeon might be limited in correction of the congenital anomaly.3 Nevertheless, the plastic and reconstructive surgeon has to play an important role in case management and support the family.
Focusing on an occupational hazard to plastic and reconstructive surgeon, although there is still no report on the occupational related Zika virus infection among medical practitioner, the risk is confirmed. At present, Zika virus is confirmed for transmission via blood product; thus, the awareness during surgery is important. Focusing on needlestick injury,4 although there is still no evidence of Zika virus transmission, standard precautions are needed. Finally, the mosquito control in the medical center should not be forgotten. The surgeon can also get mosquito bite in medical center and further develop Zika virus infection.

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