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      Zika

      Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski

      The Zika virus is mainly transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that bite during the day. Infection can also take place via transmission from mother to child during pregnancy or via sexual contact and via bloodtransfusion.

      Infection usually causes no or only mild symptoms (for example an itchy skin rash). Three to twelve days after infection, sometimes the following symptoms occur:

      • fever
      • headache
      • muscle and joint pain
      • fatigue
      • red eyes 

      Neurological complications can develop in rare cases, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. A Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a miscarriage or birth defects, e.g., a small skull, vision or hearing abnormalities, growth retardation, mental retardation, or epilepsy.

      There is no specific treatment. A person who has been infected with Zika probably has life-long protection against a new infection. 

      The 2015-2016 outbreak of zika in Latin America is over. Therefore, the risk for travellers has been greatly reduced. 

      Risk areas

      Zika occurs in several countries in Asia, Africa and Latin-America.

      View the map

      Prevention

      Mosquito-repellent measures

      Protect yourself against mosquitoes, particularly during the day.

      Vaccination

      There is no vaccine available yet.

      Pregnant?

      • Do not travel to areas with an outbreak of Zika. 
      • Protect yourself from mosquitoes. Currently, no outbreaks are reported. 
      • A blood test after returning is not routinely recommended.

      In case of symptoms

      Seek medical advice if you suffer any symptoms.

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