Zika virus disease
at a glance
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus. The virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, mainly Aedes aegypti, in tropical and subtropical regions. The same mosquito also transmits the viruses causing dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Zika virus is also transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.
The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) of Zika virus disease is estimated to be 3–14 days. Symptoms are similar to other arbovirus infections, and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache. These symptoms are usually mild and last for 2-7 days and often do not require any specific treatment. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other congenital abnormalities in the developing fetus and newborn and can lead to pregnancy complications such as fetal loss, stillbirth, and preterm birth. Zika virus was shown to be a trigger of the Guillain-Barré syndrome neuropathy and myelitis, particularly in adults and older children. Zika virus infection can only be confirmed by laboratory tests of blood or other body fluids, such as urine or semen.
1 in 5
people infected develop symptoms
of infants with
Zika-associated birth defects
countries reported mosquito-transmitted
living in at risk areas
Vaccines, the way to prepare for future outbreaks
Zika virus was first identified in April 1947 in rhesus monkeys in the Zika forest, Uganda. The first recorded outbreak of Zika virus disease was reported from Micronesia in 2007, followed by a large outbreak of Zika virus infection in French Polynesia and other countries and territories in the Pacific in 2013. In 2015, Brazil reported a large outbreak of Zika virus infection, found to be associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly.
Currently, there is no therapy available to treat or prevent Zika virus infection or its associated diseases. Protection against mosquito bites remains a key preventive measure.
Pre-clinical proof of concept
Clinical proof of concept