UNC bioethicists analyze new CDC interim guidelines for Zika testing in pregnancy

Elana Jaffe and Anne Drapkin Lyerly, MD, are co-authors of a JAMA Viewpoint article arguing that patients and providers across the country should be aware of the ways in which these guidelines shift more responsibility into their hands.

UNC bioethicists analyze new CDC interim guidelines for Zika testing in pregnancy click to enlarge Anne Drapkin Lyerly, MD
UNC bioethicists analyze new CDC interim guidelines for Zika testing in pregnancy click to enlarge Elena Jaffe, BA

October 31, 2017

Elana Jaffe, BA, and Anne Drapkin Lyerly, MD, from the UNC Center for Bioethics are co-authors  of a newly published JAMA Viewpoint article titled, "Responsible Care in the Face of Shifting Recommendations and Imperfect Diagnostics for Zika Virus." 

The corresponding author is Ilona Goldfarb, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Their piece argues that the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations may:

  • Create disparities in meaningful access to testing for Zika in pregnancy
  • Weaken surveillance for Zika-affected pregnancies —  of particular concern because 80 percent of Zika infections are asymptomatic, and in the US so far, the proportion of birth defects caused by Zika is equal between symptomatic and asymptomatic infections in pregnancy
  • Lead to overly relaxed vigilance in face of a waning epidemic threat

You can read the article here

Jaffe is a research project manager in the UNC Department of Social Medicine. 

Lyerly is associate director of the UNC Center for Bioethics and professor of social medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, is an obstetrician/gynecologist who studies ethically complex clinical and policy issues related to women’s reproductive health. Lyerly is part of a Wellcome Trust-funded interdisciplinary team with colleagues at Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. The team, tasked with focusing on issues of ethics and research in pregnancy and women of reproductive age, is poised to release to the scientific community its recommendations for including pregnant women in the Zika research agenda.


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