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Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2016 Jul;9(7):626-9. doi: 10.1016/j.apjtm.2016.05.020. Epub 2016 May 31.

Zika virus, a pathway to new challenges.

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Fauji Foundation Hospital, Rawalpindi 46000, Pakistan.
Foundation University Medical College, Foundation University Islamabad, DHA Phase I, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan. Electronic address:
Liver Clinic, Iftikhar Eye Hospital, Mayo Road, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan.


The current Zika outbreak is largest of its kind with 1.4 million cases in Brazil alone. World Health Organization declared the current outbreak as the public health emergency of international concerns. The major route of Zika virus transmission is mosquito bites. Sexual transmission and monkey bites are also observed in few cases. There is dire need to evaluate the other routes of transmission like blood transfusion, lactation and contact with body fluids. Zika virus is infecting infants, not only causing microcephaly but also creating number of complications resulting in bad outcomes of pregnancy. In Brazil alone, 4000 cases of microcephaly have observed during the current outbreak. The incidence of Guillain-Barre (GB) syndrome is also observed during the current Zika virus outbreak. GB syndrome is acute medical condition leading the patients to death due to weakness of respiratory muscles or can cause the life time disability. There is no anti-viral drug or vaccine available for Zika virus. Zika infection can be prevented by using mosquito repellents, mosquito nets, cooling rooms by air conditions and wearing full sleeves or permethrin-treated clothes. The current outbreak of Zika has not only affected the health care but also caused great economic loss. Estimated loss in Latin America and Caribbean is US$3.5 billion. United Nation's sustainable development goal 3.d stresses the strengthening of early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks. The world will keep on facing new challenges in the form of Ebola or Zika; there is strong need to prepare ourselves for any disease outbreak.


Guillain-Barre syndrome; Microcephaly; Mosquito bites; Public health emergency; Zika virus

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