Zika Virus

Zika virus risk areas at the time of printing include the Pacific, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and South East Asia where there is active transmission of the disease. The situation is expected to change, with more countries being affected, however, and it is important to obtain up-to-date travel advice. Zika often circulates at the same time as Dengue and Chikungunya. Being an emerging virus, epidemics typically affect entire communities, increasing the risk for travellers.


Zika viral illness manifests similar symptoms to dengue and chikungunya although symptoms are usually milder.

At the time of writing, Zika virus had been linked to severe medical conditions when infections are passed from pregnant women to their unborn babies. Zika virus can be transmitted in blood and via sexual contact.

The current recommendation is that pregnancy should be deferred for at least six months after returning from an affected area in all cases, even without being unwell. Pregnancy should be deferred for up to six months for male partners who have been infected.


No vaccine is available, mosquito avoidance is most important.