Zika Virus Resources

This installment of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) focuses on the behavioral health aspects of Zika virus disease. It contains resources to help with possible behavioral health reactions related to the increase in cases of the Zika virus beginning in 2015, and the association of these cases with microcephaly and other birth defects in babies whose mothers were sick with Zika during pregnancy. The installment covers these topics:

  • Basic information about Zika, the spread of the virus around the world, and ways to avoid contracting and spreading the disease
  • Strategies for addressing behavioral health reactions that people may have to the spread of Zika
  • Guidance for public health officials and leaders at national, state, and local levels in developing and delivering appropriate messages about Zika to support the best possible public health outcomes

Related Resources

Displaying 13 total results.
Seleni Institute

Appropriate for anyone providing psychosocial and mental health support to women who are pregnant, this article suggests ways to help pregnant women cope with Zika-related anxiety and distress, offers two simple tools to screen for mood or anxiety disorders, and provides links to related resources. [Author: Manzella C]

Seleni Institute

Written before confirmed cases of Zika in the United States, this article nevertheless provides useful tips for women who are pregnant to help them manage anxiety they feel about Zika and the risk it poses to them, their developing babies, and their families. [Author: Manzella C]

SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC)

This special section of the SAMHSA DTAC website provides tips and resources about reducing stress and anxiety related to Zika.

U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (DOL, OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (HHS, CDC, NIOSH)

OSHA and NIOSH provide workers and their supervisors with guidance for reducing the likelihood of contracting Zika, dealing with exposures and cases among employees, safe travel, and links to related resources. This guidance is also available as a PDF file at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3855.pdf

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (HHS, ASPR), Division for At-Risk Individuals, Behavioral Health & Community Resilience

This article from ASPR's ABC helps health care providers support pregnant women they work with in coping with stress spurred by the Zika outbreak. It lists tips for providers in communicating with women in ways that are clear and direct, address their concerns, and support their ongoing mental health throughout pregnancy. It also presents ways that pregnant women can manage fear and stress. Links to related resources are provided.

World Health Organization (WHO)

This document was developed in early 2016, at a point at which increases in microcephaly had occurred in several countries at the same time as the Zika outbreak in those countries, but Zika during pregnancy had not been found to cause microcephaly. Designed for health care practitioners and anyone else providing support to pregnant women, this publication offers guidance in communication techniques; emotional and behavioral distress reactions; and ways to provide support, teach stress management techniques, and offer advice on parenting to expectant and new mothers. [Authors: van Ommeren M, van't Hof E, Servili C, Dua T, Saxena S, and Kestel D]

United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO, PAHO), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Developed for public health officials and leaders around the world, this document presents guidance for response under WHO's strategic Zika response framework available at http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/204420/1/ZikaResponseFramework_.... It includes guiding principles, recommendations for risk communication and community engagement activities, and key messages and behaviors for individuals and communities. It is available in Spanish at http://www.unicef.org/cbsc/files/Zika_Virus_Prevention_and_Control_UNICE....

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS, CDC)

These teleconferences, held each Tuesday, address the communication concerns, and needs of state, local, and territorial health communicators, as well as partner organizations. Topics include risk perception, clear communication techniques, and the speed at which new information is presented to the public. Slides, audio files, and transcripts of past teleconferences are available.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS, CDC)

This part of CDC's website provides detailed information about Zika in the United States and around the world. CDC's Zika virus website presents the latest counts of cases of Zika virus disease among the general public and among pregnant women in the United States and U.S. territories. It also presents general information about Zika, ways to prevent contracting Zika, guidance for health care providers and public health officials, and information specifically for pregnant women.

World Health Organization (WHO)

This part of WHO's website serves as a hub of current Zika-related information provided by the organization. The website features situation reports showing current counts of reported Zika cases in countries around the world, as well as counts of associated complications, microcephaly and Guillain-Barr syndrome, and modes of transmission of the virus. It also includes links to WHO's strategic Zika response framework; multimedia materials such as fact sheets, press releases, infographics, videos, and maps with information for the public about the disease; technical guidance for health professionals; and the WHO Zika app for Android and iPhone.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS, CDC)

In downloadable fact sheets and posters in English and Spanish, CDC provides basic information for pregnant women who are traveling to areas where Zika has spread rapidly, pregnant women who live in these areas, people sick with Zika virus disease, and the public. Topics include preventing mosquito bites and avoiding other ways of contracting the disease and taking steps to support your own health if you come down with Zika.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, Disaster Information Management Resource Center (HHS, NIH, NLM, DIMRC)

This web page contains Disaster Lit documents, PubMed articles, and many other resources that are updated regularly.

World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization (WHO, PAHO)

This 17-page document provides guidance for public health officials and government leaders around the world for thinking and communicating about the risks that Zika poses for global health and for their residents specifically. It helps leaders consider how to craft communications that will address public needs and help residents take positive action to reduce the likelihood of contracting and spreading Zika.

Last Updated: 06/21/2016