Laboratory Transmission of the Zika Virus

A recent article reported the transmission of the Zika Virus to a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh; the laboratory accident that resulted in virus transmission involved a needlestick (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/11/science/lab-worker-in-pittsburgh-is-accidentally-infected-with-zika-virus.html?_r=1). 

Ae mosquito.jpg

Needlesticks are oftentimes the cause of laboratory transmissions of biological agents and, as such, Biosafety staff recommends safe needle devices be used whenever possible.  In addition, needles should be immediately discarded in a sharps container after use, without recapping them.  Laboratorians working with Risk Group 2 agents should also use engineered sharps and substitute plasticware for all glassware as much as possible.  In case of a laboratory incident involving a potential exposure to a biological agent, staff should report to University Employee Health Clinic and complete the First Report of Injury on the Employee Self-Service website.