Zika Care Connect, a new resource developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the March of Dimes to help families affected by the Zika virus find specialty medical providers who can care for them, has been launched for 10 high-risk jurisdictions throughout the United States and its territories.
“Moms and families may feel overwhelmed by Zika infection in pregnancy or by the complex medical needs of a baby born with a Zika-related health problem,” says Paul E. Jarris, MD, chief medical officer of the March of Dimes. “Zika Care Connect helps parents find services and medical providers in their location who take their insurance and speak their language.”
The Zika Care Connect (ZCC) Healthcare Professional Network is a searchable database of medical specialists who provide care for pregnant women and infants affected by Zika in these 10 high-risk jurisdictions: California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. ZCC plans to expand to 5-10 additional jurisdictions in the near future, Dr. Jarris says. Specialties include maternal-fetal medicine, mental health, audiology, radiology, pediatric ophthalmology, pediatric neurology, developmental pediatrics, infectious disease, and endocrinology.
The toll-free ZCC phone HelpLine, 1-844-677-0447, is staffed live from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time by professionals who can help answer questions and provide referrals. The ZCC website also provides resources such as downloadable Zika prevention checklists, fact sheets and charts, and answers to the most frequently asked questions.
The Spanish-language version of ZCC is scheduled to launch in a few weeks; when it goes live, it will be linked from the March of Dimes Spanish-language website nacersano.org.
Dr. Jarris said babies born to women who tested positive for Zika should be evaluated thoroughly after birth, including with brain imaging, and regularly as they grow. Some babies do not show signs of being infected with the Zika virus at birth, but may have developmental problems as they get older.
Zika Care Connect also is seeking to include more medical providers who can offer clinical services recommended by the CDC; receive new patient referrals; and maintain up-to-date profile information on the ZCC website. Learn more on the website or by calling the toll-free phone number.