What is Zika?

Zika is a viral infection that is transmitted during the day by the Aedes mosquito, with around 80% of infected people showing no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they take the form of moderate fever, rashes (often with itching), conjunctivitis and joint, head and muscle pain. Rarely, Guillain-Barré syndrome can occur, a paralysis caused by the immune system that ascends from the feet. Infected persons usually recover on their own after 5 to 7 days; hospitalization is not necessary. Infection with the Zika virus during pregnancy can lead to malformations in the unborn child.

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In which countries does Zika occur?

The Zika virus is found in Africa and Southeast Asia, as well as in Central and South America, including the Caribbean.

How can I protect myself against Zika?

You can reduce the risk of infection by protecting yourself from mosquito bites by wearing long, possibly impregnated clothing, mosquito repellent and mosquito nets. It is also advisable to use a condom / femidom during the trip and for at least two months after your return to prevent possible sexual transmission of the virus.


What should I know about Zika?

  • The symptoms of Zika are similar to other infectious diseases such as malaria. As it is important to treat malaria quickly with medication, we recommend that you consult a doctor if you have these symptoms. In this way, the necessary laboratory tests can quickly provide certainty and the necessary treatment can be initiated. 

  • Transmission of the virus is possible through mosquito bites, unprotected sexual intercourse or blood transfusions.

  • Infection with the Zika virus during pregnancy can lead to malformations of the fetus. Pregnant women, as well as people and couples planning a pregnancy, are advised not to travel to areas with an increased risk. If a trip is nevertheless necessary, it is recommended to seek advice from a travel medicine specialist before traveling.

  • Further information on Zika can be found on the FOPH or HealthyTravel websites.

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