sporadically in Africa and Asia for half a century.
11 Now, more than 60
countries and territories have continuing transmission of the disease.
Zika is spread mostly by the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes,
which primarily bite during the day, late afternoon, and early evening.
Rapid spread is nearly “guaranteed” in areas that have large mosquito
14 Although mosquitoes are the primary mode of transporting
Zika, it can also be transmitted via sexual intercourse.
15 Zika RNA has been
detected in other body fluids like saliva, semen, and amniotic fluid.
For most people, complications from infection with the Zika virus do not
result in hospitalization or serious illness.
17 However, complications may be
more serious in pregnant women and their newborn children.
18 Zika may be
passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
19 The most common
complications known are microcephaly in infants born to women who had
Zika symptoms, pregnancy loss, ocular lesions, and temporary hearing loss.
Historically, Zika virus infections caused symptoms like fever, muscle aches,
eye pain, prostration, and maculopapular rash.
21 These “. . . . symptoms are
usually mild and last for 2 to 7 days,” and may go unrecognizable or be
misdiagnosed as dengue, chikungunya, or other viral infections that manifest
with fever and rashes.22 The Zika virus is also associated with Guillain-Barré
23 Guillain-Barré syndrome is a disorder in which the body’s
immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system and results in
symptoms such as weakness, tingling sensations in the legs, and in some life-
11. Martin Enserink, An Obscure Mosquito-Borne Disease goes Global, 350 SCI. MAG.
1012, 1012 (Nov. 27, 2015),
3% 20( 1).pdf.
12. Michelle Roberts, Zika Vaccine ‘Works Very Well’ in Mice, BBC NEWS (June 28,
13. Rapid Risk Assessment: Zika Virus Epidemic in the Americas: Potential Association
with Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome, EUR. CTR. FOR DISEASE CONT.
9 (Dec. 10,
2015), http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/Publications/zika-virus-americas-association-with-microcephaly-rapid-risk-assessment.pdf [hereinafter Rapid Risk Assessment].
14. Enserink, supra note 11, at 1012.
15. McNeill et al, supra note 10, at 360.
18. Id. (The 2 most common complications known to date are microcephaly in infants
born to pregnant women who had ZIKV symptoms during pregnancy and Guillain-Barré
syndrome in adults).
19. About Zika: What We Know, CTR. FOR DISEASE CONT.,
http://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/index.html (last updated Sep. 29, 2016).
20. McNeill et al., supra note 10, at 360.
21. Fauci & Morens, supra note 9, at 602.
22. Rapid Risk Assessment, supra note 13, at 2.
23. Guillain-Barré Syndrome Fact Sheet, NAT’L INST. NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS &
STROKE (July 2011), http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/gbs/detail_gbs.htm.