Emergencies preparedness, response

Psychosocial support for pregnant women and for families with microcephaly and other neurological complications in the context of Zika virus

Interim guidance for health-care providers

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Authors:
World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 18
Publication date: 26 February 2016
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/ZIKV/MOC/16.6

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Overview

On 1 February 2016 WHO announced that a cluster of microcephaly and other neurologic disorders reported in Brazil is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Several countries have reported an increase in the incidence of cases of microcephaly and/or Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) (2) concurrent with Zika virus outbreak. A causal relationship between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not scientifically proven.

This document describes guidance for a supportive response by healthcare providers (e.g. physicians, nurses), focusing primarily on women affected by Zika virus infection during pregnancy and their families, for their mental health and psychosocial needs.

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