By Christie CD, Giaquinto C.
Zika virus epidemic now involves 72 countries, worldwide. Transmission is multimodal through mosquito bites and blood and body fluids. Zika virus causes Guillain Barre Syndrome syndrome and pregnancy complications including perinatal microcephaly. Diagnosis is complicated by subclinical infection in 80%, co-circulation with dengue and chikungunya fevers with similar presentations and cross-reactivity in serological tests. There is no cure, or preventive vaccine. Large population-based studies will help to elucidate ZIKV epidemiology, vertical transmission, risks to the fetus of maternal ZIKV infection and natural history of congenital and non-congenital ZIKV infection as provided by the activities in the “ZIKAction” research consortium in Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean, which was recently funded by the European Commission.
Published in: West Indian Medical Journal Sep, 2016;65(1):239-242; Epub, Oct, 2016, DOI:10.7727/wimj.2016.454.