Unless you have been with Tim Peake in outer space, you cannot have failed to notice the latest viral outbreak to make the headlines: not influenza, Ebola or Mers-CoV this time (all of which are still around), but Zika.
Discovered in 1947 and related to dengue and Chikungunya, Zika has been linked to microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome and is therefore of the utmost concern to some, if not most, travellers venturing out of the UK this summer. Since it was first reported in Brazil on
7 May 2015, 61 countries and territories around the world have reported continuing mosquito transmission.1
What is Zika?
Zika Virus Disease (ZVD) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, spread primarily by infected, day-biting, Aedes mosquitoes, which was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in a monkey population being monitored for signs of yellow fever. It was later identified in humans in Uganda and Tanzania in 1952 and outbreaks have since been reported in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.