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HealthInfo Canterbury

Zika virus

Zika is a viral illness that is spread by mosquitoes. The Zika virus is not present in New Zealand. But there are outbreaks of it in many tropical and subtropical countries. There is concern that pregnant women could pass it on to their unborn babies. This could have serious health consequences for their babies. The Zika virus has been linked to a serious birth defect called microcephaly. It has also been linked to a rare disease of the nervous system called Guillain-Barre.

Advice about the Zika virus is changing over time. Check the latest advice from the Ministry of Health if you are thinking about travelling to a Zika-affected area.

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon, the Ministry of Health recommends that:

There have been reports of sexual transmission of Zika, so the advice also applies to men.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated November 2016.

Page reference: 242305

Review key: HIZIK-242305