Zika virus disease: a current review of the literature

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Zika virus predominantly circulates in arboreal mosquitoes and wild primates but rarely causes severe infection in humans. The major complications associated with Zika virus infection include congenital microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Zika virus infection is a pandemic that is spreading throughout different parts of the world. It became the first major infectious disease linked to human birth defects and was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by WHO in February 2016. The aim of this narrative review was to summarize the existing knowledge about the epidemiology, transmission, clinical manifestations, complications, replication, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Zika virus infection. Currently, there are no efficacious drugs against Zika virus infection. However, there are virus-specific therapeutic targets, which may lead to the development of targeted anti-Zika virus drugs. Research preparedness is required on an immediate basis to improve mosquito control procedures and to develop point-of-care laboratory diagnostics, vaccines and antivirals that are appropriate to be used in pregnant women. The authors did not report any risk of bias assessment of the included studies.

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