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Zika Virus Resources

In 2016, the World Health Organization has declared the rapid spread of the Zika virus a global health emergency. 

According to an Annals of Internal Medicine article, the virus was initially detected in Brazil in March 2015 and has been identified in several South American countries, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Transmission has also occurred in travelers returning from the infected regions to countries including the United States, Canada, Japan, and Western Europe.

With the 2016 Olympics taking place in Brazil, the international spread of the Zika virus has been a very real cause for concern. However, a July 2016 article published in Annals of Internal Medicine identifies only a low risk of the international spread of the Zika virus due to the summer games. 


Zika virus is spread to humans through mosquito bites with additional risk for infection via blood transfusion and sexual activity. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon; however, the CDC has issued a travel alert for people traveling to regions and countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing, and recommended special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant. The notice follows reports of microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.

In May 2016, the American College of Physicians collaborated with other medical organizations on a joint letter addressed to House and Senate leaders urging them to pass legislation that would provide the highest possible funding level for research, prevention, control, and treatment of illnesses associated with the Zika virus.

Resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Articles on Zika Virus from Annals of Internal Medicine