In view of the global concern over the outbreak of the Zika virus, both Elsevier and The Lancet have created a Zika Virus Resource Center on Elsevier Connect with the latest updates, research, reviews, editorials, correspondence and commentary to help healthcare professionals, medical researchers and the public understand the outbreak.
Both info centers are advised by clinicians and professional editors and will be updated with the most current research and evidence-based information available.
Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus which has been known to cause outbreaks of disease in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands prior to 2015. In 2015, widespread Zika virus outbreaks were detected in South and Central America; and as of January 2016, Zika outbreaks involve 18 countries and territories in the Americas. Generally, Zika virus is a mild self-limited disease consisting of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgias and conjunctivitis. Illness generally lasts from a few days up to a week. Approximately 80 percent of Zika infections are estimated to be subclinical (without symptoms).
In the current outbreaks, Zika has been associated with neurological illnesses and postnatal complications. The neurological illness most frequently seen has been Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a reversible illness that causes tingling and sometimes severe weakness. The postnatal complications that have been observed are microcephaly and intracranial calcifications.These devastating birth defects have given rise to much of the recent public concern about Zika. In Brazil, these occurred significantly more frequently in areas that had Zika outbreaks than would have ordinarily been expected in areas without outbreaks.