The Zika Virus Fact Sheet: All you need to know in 10 Slides.

The World Health Organisation declared the Zika Virus a Public Health Emergency in February, 2016.

We've summarised all you need to know.

What is Zika Virus?

  • Zika is a virus that causes a mild illness in humans.
  • It was first isolated in a forest in Uganda in 1947
  • It is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes

Where is it found?

  • There is a current outbreak in Central America, South America and the Carribean.
  • The World Health Organisation announced Zika as a Global Health Emergency in February, 2016.

How is it spread?

  • Zika Virus is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito.
  • The mosquitoes bite at both day-time and night.
  • Can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
  • It has also been found to be transmitted sexually.
zika virus can be sexually transmitted

What are the Symptoms?

  • Most people infected by Zika Virus have no symptoms.
  • 1 in 5 people become mildly ill.
  • Symptoms of the illness are fevers, headaches, muscle pain, rashes and red eyes.
  • Deaths from Zika virus infections are not common.

How is it diagnosed?

  • People who have symptoms can be asked to do a special blood test for the virus by their doctors.
  • Test kits for Zika virus are not commercially available.
  • Tests for Zika virus can be done at special laboratories.

How is it treated?

  • There are no medications or vaccines specifically produced for Zika infections.
  • Symptoms can however be alleviated by painkillers, rest and fluids.

How is it prevented?

  • Avoid mosquito bites.
  • Sleep under insecticide-treated nets if you live in affected areas.
  • Wear long sleeved clothing and long pants.
  • Use insect repellents.
  • Keep a clean environment- to protect against mosquito breeding.

What are the complications?

  • Researchers are trying to link babies born with abnormally small heads (micocephaly) and Zika virus infections.
  • Although not often, Zika virus has been linked with Guillain-Barré syndrome (a condition that can cause partial or complete paralysis.


  • Zika is mainly mosquito-borne.
  • It is currently a global health emergency.
  • It has no vaccine nor medication.
  • It is being linked with microcephaly in new-borns.
  • Prevention is by avoiding mosquito bites when in affected areas.

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