Transmission routes of the Zika virus

Posted

5th February 2015

Research

The Zika virus was first identified in Africa in the 1940s but has recently hit the headlines due to a sharp apparent increase in prevalence in some parts of the world, and a potential link with microcephaly.  The Zika virus is transmitted mainly through mosquito bites, but could there be any infection prevention and control implications? The short answer is no: human-to-human transmission of the Zika virus appears to be rare, although a small number of reports of sexual transmission, horizontal transmission (from mother to baby), and transmission via blood transfusions have been reported.   So, it seems that the steps required to prevent the transmission of Zika are similar to those required for malaria. Preventing being bitten by a mosquito in high prevalence areas is the key to prevention. What is not known is what is driving the recent increase in prevalence. But we will watch the emerging story carefully to ensure no other infection prevention and control challenges emerge. Click on this link to show an interesting and insightful infographic about the Zika Virus: http://www.mphonline.org/zika-virus/  

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