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Infection by Zika virus

About Zika

A viral disease transmitted by the bite of Aedes mosquitoes infected with Zika Virus. Its mild Dengue-like symptoms include fever, rash, headaches and Arthralgia.



Transmission of Zika virus

The Zika virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito of the genus Aedes, mainly Aedes aegypti. Nonhuman primates and humans are probably the main reservoirs of the virus, and anthroponotic transmission (man-vector-man) occurs during outbreaks. Perinatal and possibly sexual transmission has also been reported. Transmission associated with blood transfusion is possible, since the RNA of Zika virus was identified in asymptomatic blood donors during a current surge.

trianguloTransmission of Zika Virus


Zika virus and Microcephaly

There is strong evidence of a possible association of infection by Zika virus in pregnant women in Brazil and the occurrence of microcephaly in newborn infants.

trianguloZika Virus and Microcephaly


Clinical Symptoms and diagnosis

About 1 in 5 people infected with the Zika virus become symptomatic. Characteristic clinical symptoms include acute fever with initial maculopapular rash, arthralgia and conjunctivitis. Other commonly reported symptoms include myalgia, headache, retro-orbital pain and vomiting. The disease is usually mild with symptoms that last from several days to a week. The severe version of the disease, that requires hospitalization, is unusual and it is shows low lethality. Based on the typical clinical features, differential diagnosis for infection by Zika virus is widespread. Besides dengue, other considerations include leptospirosis, malaria, rickettsia, group A streptococci, rubella, measles, and infections with parvovirus, enterovirus, adenovirus, and alphaviruses (e.g., Chikungunya and others). The preliminary diagnosis is based on clinical features, places and dates of the patient and their activities. The laboratory diagnosis is usually performed by testing the plasma or serum to detect the virus, viral nucleic acid or virus specific immunoglobulin M and neutralizing antibodies.

trianguloDiagnosis of Zika Virus infection

Prevention and treatment

There is no vaccine and no specific antiviral treatment available for the condition of the Zika virus. The treatment of symptoms can include rest, fluid intake, antipyretics and analgesics. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, non-steroidal should be avoided until dengue can be discarded to reduce the risk of hemorrhage.When traveling to countries where the Zika virus or other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes have been reported, the recommendation is to use insect repellent, long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or window and door fitted with insect screens.

trianguloPrevention and treatment of Zika Virus


Geographic Distribution

Zika outbreak occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia and Pacific islands and the Americas. The fact that the species of Aedes mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that the outbreak from spreading to other countries.

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Zika: abordagem clínica na atenção básica (Portuguese)  

Zika: enfoque clínico en la atención básica (Spanish)  


Additional Information


Geographic distribution of infections by Zika virus

Zika virus research

FAQ about Zika virus 

FAQ about Zika virus and pregnancy

World Health Organization (WHO) homepage about Zika virus

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) homepage about Zika virus

Brazilian Ministry of Health page about Zika virus (in Portuguese)

 Sites about Zika virus – Health Information Locator (LIS)