Summary

  • Infection caused by Zika virus, an arthropod-borne flavivirus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Sexual transmission has also been confirmed.
  • In the US, local transmission by mosquitoes has been reported in Florida and Texas.
  • Majority of patients are asymptomatic; however, about 20% of infections result in a mild, self-limited illness with fever, rash, arthralgia, and conjunctivitis.
  • There is strong scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other congenital abnormalities. The range of abnormalities seen and the likely causal link to the virus suggest a new congenital syndrome.
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome and other neurologic disorders are strongly associated with, and suspected to be caused by, Zika virus, but the link is unproven and studies are ongoing, including to elucidate a possible mechanism.
  • Treatment of symptomatic infection is supportive and there are no specific antiviral therapies at this time.
  • Prevention of mosquito bites through individual and public health measures is important to prevent infections.
  • Pregnant women are advised not to travel to areas with Zika virus infection risk. Women who may have been exposed to infection during pregnancy are advised to have molecular or serologic testing and fetal/newborn monitoring.
  • Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV) vaccine has started clinical trials to test safety and efficacy.

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