Zika Virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus originating from the Zika Forest, Uganda.  It is estimated that 1 in 5 people infected with the virus are symptomatic [1].  It is the first recorded arbovirus to cause congenital symptoms.  There is a proven link between Zika infection and the neurological manifestations (congenital Zika virus syndrome); microcephaly in infants and Guillain-Barré syndrome [1, 2, 3, 4].  Usual symptoms include conjunctivitis, mild fever, rash.  Ae. aegypti is the primary vector outside of Africa.  Multiple other Aedes spp. including Aedes africanus and Aedes furcifer are competent vectors [5].  Symptoms of this arbovirus last 2-7 days.  There are four modes of transmission: through mosquito bites, maternally/through vertical transmission (from female mosquito to offspring), via blood transfusion (undocumented cases) and sexually, which is unprecedented.  There have been official cases of Zika infection from 2015 in southern Atlantic and Gulf states of the United States.  This spread of the disease is restricted by the habitat in which the vector can survive.  However, if Ae. albopictus became competent through viral mutation – other areas of US and temperate locations would be at greater risk [5].


  1. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Emergency Plan of Action Preliminary Final Report Global: Zika Outbreak. 31 March 2018. https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/MDR42003Prelfr.pdf

  2. Barreto ML, Barral-Netto M, Stabeli R, Almeida-Filho N, Vasconcelos PF, Teixeira M, Buss P, Gadelha PE. Zika virus and microcephaly in Brazil: a scientific agenda. The Lancet. 2016 Mar 5;387(10022):919-21. https://www.arca.fiocruz.br/bitstream/icict/12901/2/Barreto%20Zika%20virus.pdf

  3. Cordeiro MT, Pena LJ, Brito CA, Gil LH, Marques ET. Positive IgM for Zika virus in the cerebrospinal fluid of 30 neonates with microcephaly in Brazil. The Lancet. 2016 Apr 30;387(10030):1811-2. http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(16)30253-7.pdf

  4. de Oliveira Melo AS, Aguiar RS, Amorim MM, Arruda MB, de Oliveira Melo F, Ribeiro ST, Batista AG, Ferreira T, dos Santos MP, Sampaio VV, Moura SR. Congenital Zika virus infection: beyond neonatal microcephaly. JAMA neurology. 2016 Dec 1;73(12):1407-16. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/2557231

  5. Kauffman EB, Kramer LD. Zika virus mosquito vectors: competence, biology, and vector control. The Journal of infectious diseases. 2017 Dec 16;216(suppl_10):S976-90. https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/216/suppl_10/S976/4753670