Zika virus information

Zika virus information

The zika virus is a mosquito-borne viral infection that has recently been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

It is believed that zika isn’t harmful for the majority of people and only one-in-five of those infected show symptoms of the virus. This said, the disease has been linked to babies being born with underdeveloped brains and therefore pregnant women should be particularly careful when travelling to an areas of outbreak.

Symptoms of those with the Zika virus usually last between 2-7 days and can include:

  • Mild fever;
  • Skin rash;
  • Conjunctivitis;
  • Muscle and joint pain;
  • Headaches.

Outbreaks of zika have now been reported across the Pacific region to South America, Central America and the Caribbean. It is predicted that the virus will eventually reach all countries in the Americas, excepting Chile and Canada.

Every country and territory that has had a reported outbreak since 2007 has been allocated a risk level rating by the World Health Organisation. An up-to-date map and timeline of zika virus transmissions across the region can be viewed here.

The UK Government also has up-to-date information and travel advice online, which can be viewed here.

Anyone living or travelling to affected areas should seek health advice ahead of their journey.