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Zika Virus Infection

Zika Virus Infection

Zika virus infection is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome

Zika virus infection is a mosquito-borne disease caused by Zika virus. Most people infected with Zika virus infection are asymptomatic. For patients with symptoms, they commonly present with rash, fever, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise and headache.

Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other congenital malformations in the infant. Congenital malformations can occur following both symptomatic and asymptomatic infection. Zika infection in pregnancy can also cause complications such as fetal loss, stillbirth and preterm birth.

Zika virus infection can also cause Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuropathy and myelitis.

Zika virus is primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Aedes aegypti, which is currently not found in Hong Kong, is considered the most important vector. Other Aedes mosquito species such as Aedes albopictus, which is commonly found in Hong Kong, are also potential vectors.

Zika virus can also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, as well as through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and possibly through organ transplantation.

Microcephaly and Zika virus 

Prevention of sexual transmission

  1. All travellers should practice safer sex (including correct and consistent use of condoms) or abstain from sexual activity during travel to areas of active transmission.
  2. Male and female travellers returning from areas of active transmission should practice safer sex or abstinence for at least 3 months and 2 months respectively upon return.

Advice for pregnant women

  1. Pregnant women should not travel to areas with active transmission.
  2. Pregnant women are advised to use DEET-containing insect repellent during travel to areas with active transmission.
  3. Sexual partners of pregnant women living in or returning from areas of active transmission should practice safer sex or abstain from sexual activity throughout pregnancy.
  4. Pregnant women returning from areas with active transmission are advised to:
  • Attend antenatal follow up regularly and inform the attending doctor about recent travel history;
  • Observe for symptoms of Zika virus infection and seek medical advice as soon as possible if feeling unwell;
  • Apply insect repellant for at least 21 days after arrival in Hong Kong.

For details on prevention of Zika virus infection, including those for pregnant women, women preparing for pregnancy and travellers going to areas with active transmission, please refer to the factsheet of Zika Virus Infection.

For other languages [हिन्दी (Hindi), नेपाली (Nepali), اردو (Urdu), ไทย (Thai), Bahasa Indonesia and Tagalog], please click here

For details on screening of blood donors to prevent Zika virus infection, please refer to Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service website. For further details, donors may enquire through hotline: 2710 1234.



Areas of active Zika virus transmission


General measures on preventing mosquito bites and mosquito breeding


Press Releases




Health Education Materials


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