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What is zika virus disease?

Page last updated 28 February 2019

Zika virus disease is a mosquito-borne viral illness that is commonly transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus does not cause illness in everyone who is infected – some people do not experience any symptoms at all. However, around one in five people may get symptoms including fever, rash, conjunctivitis, severe headache and muscle pain. In some people the disease can cause complications – such as stillbirth or birth defects in the unborn child of an infected, pregnant mother. In others, it can cause a neurological condition that affects the nerves that make your muscles move called Guillain Barre syndrome.

Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, Central and South America and the Pacific Islands.

Sources & Citations

  1. Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Zika virus. Available at: (accessed 25 October 2018).
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zika virus. Overview. Available at: (accessed 25 October 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.10.0374 - Date of preparation October 2018