(HealthDay News) – Standard Precautions should be used in all health care settings, including labor and delivery, in order to minimize the potential risk of transmission of Zika virus to health care personnel or other patients, according to research published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that sexual transmission of Zika has been documented and that Zika virus RNA has been detected in a number of body fluids, Christine K. Olson, MD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues discuss prevention of transmission of Zika virus in labor and delivery settings.

The researchers note that the CDC recommends Standard Precautions in all health care settings to protect health care personnel and patients from Zika virus infection. Given the theoretical risk for transmission of Zika virus through contact with body fluids, the importance of maintaining appropriate infection control is emphasized. Standard Precautions represent the minimum infection prevention expectations for safe care and should be used in all health care settings, including labor and delivery settings.

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“Because of the potential for exposure to large volumes of body fluids during the labor and delivery process and the sometimes unpredictable and fast-paced nature of obstetrical care, the use of Standard Precautions in these settings is essential to prevent possible transmission of Zika virus from patients to health care personnel,” the authors write.


  1. Olson CK, Iwamoto M, Perkins KM, et al. Preventing Transmission of Zika Virus in Labor and Delivery Settings Through Implementation of Standard Precautions – United States, 2016. MMWR. 2016; 65(11);290–292.