Issue: 2016 > March > review

Zika virus and the current outbreak: an overview

M. Goeijenbier, L. Slobbe, A. van der Eijk, M. de Mendonça Melo, M.P.G. Koopmans, C.B.E.M. Reusken
AbstractFull textPDF


Zika virus (ZIKV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus closely related to yellow fever virus and dengue virus, is currently causing a large outbreak in the Americas. Historically, ZIKV infection was considered a sporadic, relatively mild disease characterised by fever, maculopapular rash, conjunctivitis and often arthralgia. However, current observational studies suggest that ZIKV may cause more severe neurological sequelae such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, and birth defects, mainly microcephaly, in babies of whom the mother was infected with ZIKV during pregnancy. This article provides a clinically focussed overview of ZIKV, with emphasis on the current outbreak, clinical manifestations, diagnostic tools and caveats.