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Zika virus infection: An overview

Author
A. Desiree LaBeaud, MD, MS
Section Editor
Martin S Hirsch, MD
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH

INTRODUCTION

Zika virus is an arthropod-borne flavivirus transmitted by mosquitoes [1-5]. The virus is related to other flaviviruses including dengue virus, yellow fever virus, and West Nile virus. Clinical manifestations of Zika virus infection occur in approximately 20 percent of patients and include acute onset of low-grade fever with maculopapular pruritic rash, arthralgia (notably small joints of hands and feet), or conjunctivitis (nonpurulent).

Neurotropism of Zika virus has been demonstrated in vivo and in vitro [6-10]. Zika virus infection has been associated with neurologic complications; these include congenital microcephaly (in addition to other developmental problems among babies born to women infected during pregnancy), Guillain-Barré syndrome, myelitis, and meningoencephalitis [11-13]. (See 'Complications' below.)

Currently, there is an ongoing Zika virus outbreak in the Americas, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus and its associated complications a Public Health Emergency of International Concern between February and November 2016 [14,15].

Online updates regarding Zika virus infection may be viewed at the following websites:

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/WHO website

                           
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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Dec 11, 2017.
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