Coding Tip: Zika Virus
Kim Carrier, RHIT, CDIP, CCS, CCS‑P
Director, Coding Quality Assurance
AHIMA Approved ICD‑10‑CM/PCS
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus and can cause certain birth defects. At this time, there is no vaccine or medicine for the Zika virus.
The Zika virus can be spread through mosquito bites, from a pregnant woman to her fetus, from sex, laboratory exposure, and possibly from blood transfusions.
Prevention of the Zika virus include:
- Avoid mosquito bites
- Protection during sex (condoms)
- Control mosquitoes in your home (inside and outside) by emptying standing water containers or anything water gets caught in like planters, toys, birdbaths and trash cans.
- Use outdoor insect spray to kill mosquitoes
- Use indoor fogger or insect spray to kill mosquitoes
- Plan for travel in areas that are known to have outbreaks occurring and carry a Zika prevention kit if you do go to an area that outbreaks are occurring or that is known to have active cases of Zika (bed net, standing water treatment tabs, insect repellent, Permethrin spray, and condoms).
Many people that are infected with the Zika virus will not have any symptoms or even know they have the virus. Symptoms are usually mild and people rarely get sick enough to seek treatment as the symptoms are similar to other viruses.
- Joint pain
- Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
- Muscle pain
Coding of Zika Virus Infection:
Per the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting FY 2017, only confirmed cases of the Zika virus should be coded. The physician’s diagnostic statement that the condition is a confirmed case is sufficient. The type of test performed to get to this diagnosis does not have to be documented. If the condition is documented by the physician as a suspected/possible or probable diagnosis, then the coder would report the reason for the encounter (the symptoms such as fever, rash or joint pain) or Z20.828, contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases and NOT the code for the Zika Virus.
The websites listed below have a lot of additional information regarding the transmission, symptoms, prevention, risks for pregnant women, mosquito control, and other informative information.
AHA Coding Clinic, Fourth Quarter 2016 Page: 4-7
ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting FY 2017 Page: 26-27
The information contained in this coding advice is valid at the time of posting. Viewers are encouraged to research subsequent official guidance in the areas associated with the topic as they can change rapidly.