PreventionThere are, at the moment, neither vaccines nor preventive therapies.is to avoid being bitten by vector mosquitoes. Residents or travelers in a country where the virus is present, can take protective measures by covering exposed skin with appropriate clothing (long sleeves and long pants) especially during the hours when the mosquito is circulating (from sunrise to sunset), use repellents, adopt physical barriers (doors, windows, mosquito nets) and stay overnight in places protected by mosquito nets.
Particular attention should be paid to people who are unable to protect themselves independently (children, the elderly, the sick).
As a precaution, experts recommend that all women who are pregnant or who do not rule out conception soon:to evaluate the possibility of postponing travel plans and programs to countries affected by the transmission of the virusif the trip is not postponed, take individual protection measures against mosquito biteswhen returning from trips to areas at risk, give notice of the trip immediately during the antenatal visits, in order to be evaluated and monitored appropriately.
TreatmentFor the sick, symptomatic drugs can be used as needed, such as antipyretics (paracetamol) for fever, headache and musculoskeletal pain. Good hydration is recommended.
Surveillance and monitoring in Italy
In Italy, the surveillance of cases of Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika virus disease is regulated by the “National plan for surveillance and response to arbovirosis transmitted by mosquitoes (Aedes sp.) With particular reference to Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika viruses – 2016” ,
published on June 16, 2016 by the Ministry of Health. Although the human case surveillance system is active all year round, in the period of greatest vector activity (1 June-31 October) it is strengthened throughout the national territory to allow the rapid identification of cases and the possible immediate adoption of necessary control measures.
In this regard, the Plan provides healthcare professionals with precise indications on the procedures for reporting suspected cases. With regard to entomological surveillance and the assessment of the different levels of transmission risk,
the document underlines that Regions and Municipalities are responsible for carrying out the activities for the control of invasive mosquitoes in a timely manner, applying the recommendations reported (interventions to reduce larval outbreaks, ordinary interventions control with larvicidal products and interventions with the use of adulticides in situations of high vector density, etc.).
The Plan highlights the importance of communication aspects (correct information, health education, risk communication, training) and precautionary measures (and isolation) towards the patient and family members and / or cohabitants. In particular, with respect to the Zika virus, the document also indicates the prevention measures for transmission by vector, vertically.
For transfusion prevention measures, the Plan refers to the recommendations periodically updated and available on the website of the National Blood Center (Cns), and to those of the National Transplant Center (Cnt) relating to the donation of organs, tissues, hematopoietic stem cells and gametes.
As of this year, the Plan does not contain the indications for the surveillance and control of the West Nile virus which are the subject of a specific Plan. To learn more, consult: the Circular of 16 June 2016 (pdf 845 kb), the press release on the website of the Ministry of Health, the recommendations of the Cns and the recommendations of the Cnt.