Zika Virus - Congenital Zika Infection & Microcephaly

There has been an explosive rise in the number of cases of Zika virus infection with a nidus in Latin America and the Carribeans.

Zika virus is related to Dengue, West Nile and some other viruses. It was first noted in 1947 in Africa and has spread by outbreaks to many different countries, with an ongoing outbreak in Brazil (In May 2015, Zika virus infections first arose in Brazil). and Puerto Rico; it has also been diagnosed in Harris County (Houston) Texas in January of 2016.

The Virus is transmitted to people by a mosquito (Aedes) vector; and so the risk factor for infection is a mosquito bite. The means of infection for the US infection was via sexual contact and so the potential for transmission through sex has become an added concern. The incubation period for the virus is about three to twelve days after the bite by an infected mosquito.

The symptoms and signs of Zika virus are usually:

  • Fever

  • Rash

  • Joint pain

  • Conjunctivitis