Referral Guidelines for Physicians

The Children’s National Health System Congenital Zika Virus Program provides advanced diagnostics and consultation for your pregnant and infant patients with concerns about a possible exposure to the Zika virus. Our program staff are leaders in international Zika-related research initiatives, giving us first-hand access to and knowledge of the latest Zika findings to help you and your patients.

Physicians from the Fetal Medicine Institute and the Division of Infectious Disease lead a multidisciplinary team that will provide your patient with comprehensive assessments and expert personalized recommendations based on the most recent findings and guidelines. Once your patient is referred into the program, the multi-specialty team will provide:
  • Streamlined blood testing 
  • Advanced fetal and newborn neuroimaging 
  • Comprehensive consultation
  • Coordinated multidisciplinary diagnosis and management tailored to each individual 

Referral Guidelines

If you have concerns that your patient may have been exposed to the Zika virus, please consult the guidelines below to assess when to refer to the Congenital Zika Virus Program. (download these referral guidelines as a PDF)

Pregnant women who:
  • have traveled to a Zika-affected area1 (with or without symptoms2)
  • have had a sexual encounter with a partner (with or without symptoms) with confirmed Zika infection or who traveled to a Zika-affected area
  • have not traveled to a Zika-affected area nor had a sexual encounter with a partner who traveled but who have a history of mosquito bite(s) and have symptoms consistent with Zika infection
  • have fetal ultrasound studies that show a falling head circumference, microcephaly, or intracranial calcifications

Infants who:

  • were born to a mother who had a positive or inconclusive test result for Zika
  • were born to a mother who traveled to or resided in an area1 with Zika virus transmission during pregnancy.
  • have microcephaly or intracranial calcifications (diagnosed pre- or postnatally)
  • have symptoms of Zika2 in the first two weeks of life not explained by another etiology

If you, any of your pregnant patients, or parents of your newborn patients have questions or concerns about a possible Zika virus exposure, the Congenital Zika Virus Program is available to help you address this issue and support you with your patients’ condition management plans. Call us at 202-476-7409 or email

1 an updated list of Zika-affected areas can be found here:
symptoms of Zika include: fever, rash, joint pain, redness of the eyes, or headache and muscle pain.