Zika Virus Response Planning: Interim Guidance for District and School Administrators in the Continental United States and Hawaii

Summary

What is already known about this topic?

Zika virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes. Zika virus is not transmitted directly from one person to another through casual contact. There is no evidence that risk for transmission on school properties will be higher than in other areas of the local community.

What is added by this report?

If suspected or confirmed Zika virus infection occurs in a student or staff member, schools should continue to prioritize strategies to prevent mosquito bites on school grounds, to prevent further transmission through infected mosquitoes. Because Zika virus is not transmitted from person to person by casual contact, it is not necessary to issue a schoolwide notification, and students or staff members with travel-related Zika virus exposure or confirmed Zika virus infection do not need to be removed from school. Isolation of persons with Zika virus disease or quarantine of exposed persons is neither recommended nor appropriate. Schools should maintain privacy and nondiscrimination protections for all students and employees. In the case of local Zika virus transmission, it is not necessary to cancel school-related activities.

What are the implications for public health practice?

School, local, and public health authorities should work together to implement mosquito control activities and mosquito bite prevention measures in schools to decrease risk of Zika virus transmission, to apply appropriate policies for educating students and staff members, and for continuation of school operations.

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