Zika virus is a flavivirus much like:

  • Yellow fever virus
  • Dengue virus
  • Japanese encephalitis virus
  • West Nile virus


Zika virus transmission


Zika symptom

  • Unlike dengue, Zika symptoms are mild and last for 2-7 days
  • Only 2 out of 8 people develop symptoms
  • Deaths associated with Zika is very rare or not reported


Laboratory tests on blood or other bodily fluids, such as urine, saliva or semen is the only way to confirm a possible infection.


  • Zika requires no specific treatment and there is currently no vaccine for Zika.
  • Treatment of symptoms involves:

Zika treatment


Zika infection during pregnancy

  • Zika virus infection during pregnancy may lead to microcephaly in infants. Babies with microcephaly have a smaller head than an average baby of the same age. However, more research is needed if we are to better understand the virus and its link to diseases in humans.
  • Pregnant women diagnosed with Zika should continue to closely monitor the health of the foetus throughout pregnancy by consulting a healthcare provider.
  • There have been no reports of Zika being transmitted through breastfeeding.
  • No adverse neurological outcomes have been reported to date in infants with postnatally acquired Zika virus disease.


Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes:

Reduce risk of Zika infection

An educational contribution by Malaysian Paediatric Association

Subscribe to our parenting newsletter.