ISSN 1308-8734 | E-ISSN 1308-8742
Review
Global Alert: Zika Virus-an Emerging Arbovirus
1 Department of Infectious Diseases, Atatürk University School of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey  
2 Department of Medical Education, Atatürk University School of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey  
Eurasian J Med 2017; 49: 142-147
DOI: 10.5152/eurasianjmed.2017.17147
Key Words: Zika virus, Flavivirus, microcephaly, Guillain-Barré syndrome, aedes, arbovirus
Abstract

Zika virus (ZIKV) is an arbovirus of the Flavivirus genus, and it has an envelope and a single RNA molecule. In early 2016, the World Health Organization declared ZIKV infection to be an emerging global health threat. The major transmission route of the virus to humans is Aedes mosquitoes. ZIKV can be transmitted between humans by transplacental, perinatal, and sexual routes and via blood and body fluids. ZIKV infection usually results in a mild and self-limiting disease with low-grade fever, conjunctivitis, and periorbital edema. Neurological complications such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, meningoencephalitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, acute myelitis, and transverse myelitis have been reported during ZIKV infection. Intrauterine and congenital ZIKV infections have strong teratogenic effects on the fetus. Intrauterine or congenital ZIKV infection can lead to microcephaly, ocular anomalies (such as macular atrophy, pigment mottling, and optic nerve anomalies), and cardiac anomalies (such as atrial or ventricular septal defect). Calcification in the brain between the cortical and subcortical areas, ventriculomegaly, cerebellar hypoplasia, corpus callosum hypoplasia, cortical/subcortical atrophy, delayed myelination, enlarged cisterna magna, and craniofacial disproportion have been reported as brain development defects. ZIKV infection usually results in a mild disease, and it does not require specific therapy. However, complications of infection during the early period of life are serious. Thus, many drugs have been investigated, and vaccine development studies have been conducted to prevent ZIKV infection. Vector control and personal protection from mosquito-borne transmission are important for decreasing the prevalence of ZIKV infection. In particular, pregnant residents or travelers to endemic areas should be carefully protected against mosquito-borne transmission. 

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