Zika virus and the current outbreak: an overview

Neth J Med. 2016 Mar;74(3):104-9.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Outbreaks / statistics & numerical data*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • RNA, Viral / genetics*
  • Zika Virus / genetics*
  • Zika Virus Infection / epidemiology*
  • Zika Virus Infection / virology


  • RNA, Viral