Zika virus conjunctivitis

The Zika virus hit the news headlines in 2016 for causing birth defects, e.g. microcephaly, in women infected during pregnancy.

It is a mosquito borne Flavivirus.

The acute symptoms of infection are fever, headache, rash, joint pains and red eye (conjunctivitis). There should be a history of travel within 2 weeks to a country with a Zika outbreak.

An increase in the number of people with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a condition causing paralysis, is thought to be also  linked to Zika outbreaks.

It has also been reported to have caused macular atrophy in children affected by infection by Zika virus during pregnancy.

Preventive measures include destroying breeding grounds of the Aedes mosquito, use of mosquito netting and repellants.

No specific treatment is needed for the conjunctivitis.

Zika virus in Brazil and macular atrophy in a child with microcephaly