Zika virus: Epidemiology, current phobia and preparedness for upcoming mass gatherings, with examples from World Olympics and Pilgrimage

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The review describes Zika virus epidemiology, current phobia, and the required preparedness for its prevention during the upcoming Mass Gathering (MG) events.

Zika virus, is thought to cause microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. It is mainly transmitted through bite of Aedes mosquitoes, although, sexual, perinatal and blood-borne transmissions are implicated. Its spiky spread and epidemic potential are an issue in Zika-endemic countries hosting MG. In the absence of vaccine, this puts millions of travellers and locals at risk. Saudi Arabian Muslims Hajj and Brazilian Olympics are upcoming MG. The recommendations of this review are to intensify epidemiological surveillance, educational programs, vector control and multidisciplinary cooperation. This review did not include a risk of bias assessment for included studies.

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