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Zika

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted to humans by infected Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can also transmit dengue.

Zika virus is usually a mild disease, however there are possible risks to unborn babies if a pregnant woman is infected with Zika virus during her pregnancy.

Typical symptoms of Zika virus:

  • red itchy eyes
  • fever
  • muscle and joint pain
  • headache
  • a skin rash
  • lack of energy.

There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika virus. It usually lasts 4 to 7 days and is confirmed by having a blood test.

More information:

Zika affected areas

Zika virus cases have been reported in the Pacific region, including Papua New Guinea, South East Asia, South and Central America, the Caribbean and Africa. Check for current Zika affected areas.

It is important to understand that any country with dengue transmission also has the potential for Zika transmission.

To date, there has not been any local transmission of Zika virus in Queensland. However, some people have contracted the disease overseas and returned to Queensland.

This map shows the countries where people have contracted Zika virus and then returned to Queensland.

Map showing countries where people have contracted Zika virus and then returned to Queensland

The table below shows the number of cases since 1 January 2016.

Notified cases of Zika in Queensland by country of acquisition
Region or countryConfirmed notificationsProbable notificationsTotal notifications
Tonga 5 3 8
Fiji 3 5 8
Samoa 4 1 5
Solomon Islands 0 1 1
Mexico 7 1 8
Colombia 1 0 1
Cuba 1 0 1
Dominican Republic 1 0 1
El Salvador 1 0 1
Guyana 1 0 1
Vietnam 1 1 2
Indonesia 1 0 1
South East Asia (travel to multiple countries) 1 0 1
Total 27 12 39

Queensland’s response

The Queensland Government is:

  • increasing the capacity of its laboratories, to rapidly test people for Zika virus infection
  • working closely with the Commonwealth Government to ensure a consistent and coordinated approach to tackling the spread of Zika virus
  • developing a prevention campaign highlighting individual’s roles in reducing the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can spread Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever
  • supporting state-wide mosquito-borne disease prevention and control programs that target both imported and locally acquired cases of mosquito-borne diseases and surveillance and control of mosquitoes.

Pregnancy

There are possible risks to unborn babies if a pregnant woman is infected with Zika virus during her pregnancy. Women who are pregnant, or planning pregnancy, and their partners should consider deferring travel to Zika affected areas and consult their doctor before travelling.

People travelling overseas

Travellers should stay informed about Zika virus and see their local health or travel authorities if they are concerned. It is recommended that women who are pregnant, or planning a pregnancy, consider delaying overseas travel to affected areas.

To protect against Zika virus you should avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and take safety measures such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, using insect repellent containing DEET (diethyltoluamide) or picaridin and staying in air-conditioned or screened rooms.

People returning from overseas

If you have returned from an area with current Zika virus transmission, and feel unwell, or felt sick while you were away, see a doctor as soon as possible and mention your recent travel.

See a doctor if you are pregnant and have recently travelled to areas affected by Zika virus.

More information

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
22 June 2017
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