Vicious virus which infects travellers in Africa, the Americas, South-East Asia and the Western Pacific through mosquito bites. Symptoms are mild, but pregnant women should watch out because Zika can cause serious birth defects.
There is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Links to other neurological complications are also being investigated. Although the Zika virus is mainly transmitted via mosquitoes, sexual transmission is also possible.1
How do people catch this disease?
By being bitten by infected mosquitoes which carry the virus. The disease can also be caught through sex with an infected partner.1,4
Which countries are affected?
Many countries in Central and South America, including the Caribbean and the state of Florida, a few countries in Southeast Asia, Europa and Africa (see map).2,3,4
What are the symptoms?
Fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle pain, joint pain, feeling of being generally unwell, headache.1,4
How serious is the disease?
Some babies born to women who become infected have severely abnormal brain development (Microcephaly). Possible links with a range of other complications are being investigated.1,4
Can I reduce the chances of catching Zika?
You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection: