#Quarantine for #Zika Virus? Where is the #Science? (Disaster Med Public Health Prep., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2016 Oct;10(5):704-706. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Quarantine for Zika Virus? Where is the Science?

Koenig KL1.

Author information: 1Center for Disaster Medical Sciences,University of California at Irvine,Orange,California.



In January 2016, the World Health Organization warned that Zika virus is “spreading explosively” in the Americas and that up to 4 million infections could be present worldwide within a year. Soon thereafter, some politicians and authors publicly advocated for quarantine of travelers returning from regions where mosquitoes carrying Zika virus are prevalent. The public health tool of quarantine can be used to prevent the spread of infection by restricting the movement of persons who have been exposed to a deadly disease that can be transmitted from person to person before symptom onset. With 80% of Zika virus infections being asymptomatic, no rapid test being available to detect the virus, and primary transmission being via the bites of certain mosquitoes, application of quarantine in this setting is not scientifically sound or practically feasible. Rather, public health interventions should focus on preventing bites from infected mosquitoes, counseling pregnant women on the risks of fetal microcephaly and other birth defects, and identifying patients with signs and symptoms of Guillain-Barré syndrome. As was seen in the Ebola virus disease outbreak of 2014, non-evidence-based factors can influence policy decisions. Public health experts must ensure that policy makers are informed that quarantine is not a scientifically sound approach for the control of Zika virus. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;0:1-3).

KEYWORDS: Ebola; Zika; health policy; isolation; quarantine

PMID: 27032458 DOI: 10.1017/dmp.2016.56

[PubMed – in process]

Keywords: Zika Virus; Public Health; Quarantine.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.