Revision 8 for 'Zika virus infection'

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Zika virus infection

Zika virus infection is a zoonosis which is associated with congenital birth defects, most notably microcephaly.


Zika was once isolated to Africa and Asia, however, it spread to the Americas in the last decade 1. There were thousands of cases confirmed in the Americas in 2018 2.

Clinical presentation

The clinical presentation of Zika in most adults is often mild and can include symptoms almost identical to dengue, including fever, malaise, joint pain and rash. When transmitted to the fetus, the disease is associated with congenital birth defects including microcephaly.


Zika is a single RNA stranded Flavivirus usually transmitted by mosquitoes, for example Aedes aegypti.  the virus can be transmitted sexually 3 or perinatally.


Zika virus is a single-strand RNA Flavivirus (1). It is transmitted by infected female mosquito vectors, such as the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Diagnosis of Zika virus infection is complicated by the fact that it is asymptomatic in up to 80% of infections (14). The common symptoms tend to be mild and nonspecific, including headache, fever, and rash. Other symptoms include conjunctivitis, and, in rare instances, Guillain-Barré syndrome

Radiographic features

Radiographic features of Zika have been reported on ultrasound, CT and MRI. Congenital Zika has been shown to cause various brain abnormalities affecting both grey and white matter and ventricular size 4,5.

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