The Zika Virus
While monitoring sylvatic yellow fever in rhesus monkeys in 1947, the researchers in Uganda also identified an emerging mosquito borne virus – Zika. In 1952, the Zika virus was identified in humans, first in Uganda and then in Tanzania. Belonging to the genre Flavivirus and spread through the Aedes mosquito, outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded across Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
Although not known for certain, the incubation period of Zika virus disease is likely to be a few days. Exhibiting symptoms similar to other arbovirus infections like dengue, the symptoms like fever, conjunctivitis, rashes, joint pain and headache are usually mild and last between 2 to 7 days.
Of concern though, are the reports of potential neurological and auto-immune complications of Zika virus disease; evidence of which have been reported during the disease outbreaks in French Polynesia in 2013 and in Brazil in 2015. Authorities have observed an increase in Gullian-Barre syndrome as well as an increase in babies born with microcephaly in Northeast Brazil. Investigations are revealing an increasing body of evidence, relating to the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly.
Infection with Zika virus can only be confirmed through laboratory testing of blood or other body fluids, confirming the presence of Zika virus RNA. The disease itself is fairly mild and requires no specific treatment – other than plenty of rest, intake of fluids and basic medication for fever and body pain. Medical care is advised if symptoms worsen or persist. Currently, there are no vaccines available for this virus.
ICD-10 Code for Zika
Several articles and news about the spread of the virus in the Americas has brought the Zika virus into public attention. Is the Zika virus turning into another public health crisis? What is the code for the infection under ICD-10? The index under the main term for virus has no entry for Zika virus, nor does the index include any options under Zika. Other specified viral diseases come under the code B33.8. However, this lacks information that the condition is mosquito borne. Similar to Dengue fever, which is coded as A90, we find options near this code entitled ‘Other specified mosquito borne viral fevers’, with the code A92.8. The American Health Information Management Association has confirmed the code A92.8 as the code for the Zika Virus under ICD-10. For inpatient coders, this code is a CC in the MS-DRG Methodology.
What are the ICD-10 codes for other Zika virus infection related patients? Let’s take a look:
- Pregnancy, complicated by viral disease – O98.51- (the dash would be completed with the current trimester of the patient and become the sixth character in the code)
- Infected patient who has delivered the baby – O98.52
- Delivered, but may need additional care – O98.53
- Born with microcephaly – Q02 (unlike the above, this is not a CC in the MS-DRG methodology)
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