Columbia Physicians Share Advice for Patients Worried About Zika

On Wednesday, July 27, maternal-fetal medicine specialist Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, MD,  neuroinfectious diseases expert Kiran Thakur, MD, and pediatrician Alok Patel, MD, joined other healthcare professionals around the country for a Twitter chat on the Zika virus. The conversation, which was organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Medscape, covered topics such as what to do when bitten by a mosquito, advice on traveling to Zika-affected areas, and recommended preventative strategies.

Below is a curated summary of the Twitter chat. For the full version, please click here.

1. Let’s discuss how patients feel about Zika. What major concerns are they sharing with you about the virus?

2. What do you tell patients who have been bitten by a mosquito and fear Zika? What’s the reality? The misconceptions?

3. With Brazil’s Zika issues, what about patients traveling to the Olympics? Who is most at risk? What precautions can they take?

4. How long should you monitor patients bitten by mosquitoes in Zika-endemic area?

5. The CDC's advice for pregnant women is to avoid Zika-endemic areas. What about partners traveling to high-risk areas?

6. For those in Zika affected areas, what precautions should partners – both male and female – take, if trying to get pregnant?

7. Should adults beyond childbearing age feel concerned about Zika?

8. Should parents worry about kids contracting Zika?

9. Mosquito control and avoidance are the main recommended preventive strategies. Any other evidence-based strategies to suggest?

10. What atypical symptoms should you watch for that may suggest Zika infection?

11. What info should you gather when there is a suspicion of Zika?

12. Let's share resources. What information do you have to help other clinicians?