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Read our articles on Zika virus infection

Note of concern published for 'Epidemiological investigation of MERS-CoV spread in a single hospital in South Korea, May to June 2015',

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Zika virus infection

Read our articles on Zika virus infection

On 1 February 2016, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern following a meeting of the recently established ‘International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations’ and a rapid spread of the disease in the Americas. 

Zika virus disease is caused by an RNA virus transmitted to humans by Aedes mosquitoes, especially by the Aedes aegypti species. Infected people usually have a mild fever, skin rash (exanthema) and conjunctivitis. The symptoms resemble those of dengue and normally last for 2-7 days. There is no vaccine available against the Zika virus (ZIKAV).

Sporadic Zika virus outbreaks have been described in Africa and South Asia since the virus was discovered for the first time in Uganda in 1947. In 2013-14 a large outbreak occurred in the Pacific region, especially in French Polynesia. In 2015, the Pacific region experienced another outbreak and in May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Brazil authorities reported cases in Brazil. The recent outbreaks in French Polynesia, Brazil and other Latin America countries led to reports of potential neurological and auto-immune complications of Zika virus disease. Moreover, in Brazil and in other countries in Latin America, there were signals that a strong association between Zika virus infection and congenital abnormality, including microcephaly, could exist when pregnant women were infected.

30 January 2014 

First case of laboratory-confirmed Zika virus infection imported into Europe, November 2013

Two cases of Zika fever imported from French Polynesia to Japan, December 2013 to January 2014

3 April 2014

Evidence of perinatal transmission of Zika virus, French Polynesia, December 2013 and February 2014

10 April 2014

Potential for Zika virus transmission through blood transfusion demonstrated during an outbreak in French Polynesia, November 2013 to February 2014

16 October 2014

Concurrent outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus infections – an unprecedented epidemic wave of mosquito-borne viruses in the Pacific 2012–2014

11 June 2015

Zika virus infection in a traveller returning to Europe from Brazil, March 2015

14 January 2016

Zika virus infection in a traveller returning from the Maldives, June 2015

11 February 2016

Zika virus infections in three travellers returning from South America and the Caribbean respectively, to Montpellier, France, December 2015 to January 2016

25 February 2016

An autochthonous case of Zika due to possible sexual transmission, Florence, Italy, 2014

3 March 2016

Zika virus detection in urine from patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome on Martinique, January 2016 

10 March 2016

Isolation of infectious Zika virus from saliva and prolonged viral RNA shedding in a traveller returning from the Dominican Republic to Italy, January 2016

Letter to the editor: diagnostic challenges to be considered regarding Zika virus in the context of the presence of the vector Aedes albopictus in Europe

Authors’ reply: diagnostic challenges to be considered regarding Zika virus in the context of the presence of the vector Aedes albopictus in Europe

31 March 2016

Zika virus and congenital malformations in perspective

Congenital cerebral malformations and dysfunction in fetuses and newborns following the 2013 to 2014 Zika virus epidemic in French Polynesia

14 April 2016

Assessing the potential risk of Zika virus epidemics in temperate areas with established Aedes albopictus populations

21 April 2016

Zika virus detection in cerebrospinal fluid from two patients with encephalopathy, Martinique, February 2016

High specificity of a novel Zika virus ELISA in European patients after exposure to different flaviviruses

European Union SHIPSAN ACT Joint Action publishes interim guidance on maritime transport and Zika virus disease

5 May 2016

Experimental studies of susceptibility of Italian Aedes albopictus to Zika virus

26 May 2016

Letter to the editor: Specificity of Zika virus ELISA: interference with malaria

9 June 2016

Zika virus, the new kid on the block

Longitudinal follow-up of Zika virus RNA in semen of a traveller returning from Barbados to the Netherlands with Zika virus disease, March 2016

Sexual transmission of Zika virus in an entirely asymptomatic couple returning from a Zika epidemic area, France, April 2016

Sexual transmission of Zika virus in Germany, April 2016

16 June 2016

Confirmed case of Zika virus congenital infection, Spain, March 2016

30 June 2016

Detection of Zika virus RNA in whole blood of imported Zika virus disease cases up to 2 months after symptom onset, Israel, December 2015 to April 2016

14 July 2016

Note from the editors: Articles on Zika preparedness

Réunion Island prepared for possible Zika virus emergence, 2016

Zika emergence in the French Territories of America and description of first confirmed cases of Zika virus infection on Martinique, November 2015 to February 2016

The epidemiology and transmissibility of Zika virus in Girardot and San Andres island, Colombia, September 2015 to January 2016

28 July 2016

Detection of Zika virus in Brazilian patients during the first five days of infection – urine versus plasma

11 August 2016

Infection dynamics in a traveller with persistent shedding of Zika virus RNA in semen for six months after returning from Haiti to Italy, January 2016

Persistent detection of Zika virus RNA in semen for six months after symptom onset in a traveller returning from Haiti to Italy, February 2016

Travel-associated and autochthonous Zika virus infection in mainland France, 1 January to 15 July 2016

1 September 2016

Culex mosquitoes are experimentally unable to transmit Zika virus

Experimental investigation of the susceptibility of Italian Culex pipiens mosquitoes to Zika virus infection

22 September 2016

South-east Asian Zika virus strain linked to cluster of cases in Singapore, August 2016

15 December 2016

Serodiagnosis of Zika virus (ZIKV) infections by a novelNS1-based ELISA devoid of cross-reactivity with dengue virus antibodies: amulticohort study of assay performance, 2015 to 2016

12 January 2017

Experimental transmission of Zika virus by mosquitoes from central Europe

19 January 2017

Infectious Zika virus in vaginal secretions from an HIV-infected woman, France, August 2016



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by authors contributing to Eurosurveillance do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) or the editorial team or the institutions with which the authors are affiliated. Neither ECDC nor any person acting on behalf of ECDC is responsible for the use that might be made of the information in this journal. The information provided on the Eurosurveillance site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Our website does not host any form of commercial advertisement. Except where otherwise stated, all manuscripts published after 1 January 2016 will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. You are free to share and adapt the material, but you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

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