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Is there a vaccine for the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus has recently hit the news as it is reportedly spreading from the Pacific region into Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

What is the Zika virus?

The Zika virus, which can cause birth defects and a condition in babies called Microcephaly – a condition that causes infants to be born with small heads due to improper development of the brain – is carried by the Aedis Aegypti mosquito. More information on the Zika Virus.

The potential spread of the Zika virus

The World Health Organisation has reported that 46 countries to date have recorded some degree of Zika infection. But the worrying fact of the matter is that there are a total of 130 countries where the Aedis Aegypti mosquito breeds. The potential risk of the virus spreading further is large and cannot be discounted.

First transmission of the Zika virus through sex in Europe, reported in France

Zika virus infection is normally spread by a mosquito bite, but it can also be spread through sexual intercourse, and here in Europe the first case of a woman being infected through sexual activity has just been reported in February 2016. She was infected by her husband who recently returned from Brazil, carrying the infection. Luckily, the woman is not pregnant.

No vaccination

At this point in time there’s no effective vaccination against the Zika virus. The primary method of avoiding an infection is bite prevention. In light of the rare but possible chance of infection through unprotected sexual intercourse, a condom should be worn during intercourse if a partner has recently returned from an at-risk area.

Zika virus advice from Broadgate Clinic London Wall

You can get up to date advice on Zika virus infection from the walk-in travel clinic at Broadgate Clinic London Wall