Zika virus was initially discovered in east Africa about 70 years ago and remained a neglected arboviral disease in Africa and Southeast Asia. The virus first came into the limelight in 2007 when it caused an outbreak in Micronesia. In the ensuing decade, it spread widely in other Pacific islands, after which its incursion into Brazil in 2015 led to a widespread epidemic in Latin America. In most infected patients the disease is relatively benign. Serious complications include Guillain-Barré syndrome and congenital infection which may lead to microcephaly and maculopathy. Aedes mosquitoes are the main vectors, in particular, Ae. aegypti. Ae. albopictus is another potential vector. Since the competent mosquito vectors are highly prevalent in most tropical and subtropical countries, introduction of the virus to these areas could readily result in endemic transmission of the disease. The priorities of control include reinforcing education of travellers to and residents of endemic areas, preventing further local transmission by vectors, and an integrated vector management programme. The container habitats of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus means engagement of the community and citizens is of utmost importance to the success of vector control.
Keywords: Aedes; Flavivirus; Zika virus; congenital abnormalities; travel medicine.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.