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WHO Zika and breastfeeding interim guidance

This question was posted the Infant and young child feeding interventions forum area and has 4 replies.

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Marie McGrath

Mrs

Forum moderator

25 Feb 2016, 21:34

The main mode of Zika virus transmission is through infected Aedes mosquitoes. However, current widespread transmission of the virus has raised questions as to whether transmission can also occur during breastfeeding, a practice essential to infant and young child survival and development. This has prompted the development of Interim guidance on breastfeeding in the context of Zika virus by WHO that has just been issued. A systematic review of evidence will be conducted in March 2016 to revise and update these recommendations.

Questions and experiences regarding this guidance on welcome on this forum.

Isabelle Modigell

Tech RRT

Normal user

15 Mar 2016, 14:15

Marie McGrath

Mrs

Forum moderator

18 Mar 2016, 12:15

Dear Isabelle, Apologies for the delay. I am participating in a WHO technical consultation on this subject yesterday and today - I'll consult with the WHO team and get back to you asap once the meeting is finished. This is one of the evidence papers under review. Best regards, Marie

Marie McGrath

Mrs

Forum moderator

18 Mar 2016, 15:57



Dear Isabelle,
Note there is a lack of documented evidence regarding transmission of ZVD via breastfeeding or breastmilk, and the clinical consequences of any such transmission, and whether there is a protective element to breastfeeding in this context. Note also that the main mode of transmission of ZVD is via mosquito bite.

This Lancet note describes just one case. In general terms, infants of mothers with a Zika virus infection may be infected with Zika in utero, perinatally, by mosquito bite, via breastmilk. Whereas in this case Zika virus was present in the mother’s breastmilk, the article says that the serum of the neonate was “ambiguous”. Follow up with the author regarding this ambiguity explained further that one of the targets in the PCR test (the most sensitive) was positive and the other target was negative. This should be interpreted as negative (personal communication). Also note that the infant was clinically fine and showed no signs of infection.

Isabelle Modigell

Normal user

31 Mar 2016, 09:19

Thank you!

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