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Zika Virus

Aedes aegypti mosquito

 Aedes aegypti mosquito

​Zika virus is currently in the news due to an apparent surge in the number of Brazilian children born with microcephaly - abnormally small heads and brains.  The condition has been tentatively linked to the rapid spread of the Zika virus throughout South America. 

Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesis monkeys and subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Repulic of Tanzania.  Since then there have been recorded outbreaks in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and most recently the Americas.  The vector for the disease is the Aedes mosquitoes, which usually bite during the morning and late afternoon/evening hours.  

A statement from the Chief Medical Officer of Health provided this advice for Ontarians planning on visiting affected areas:

"Ontarians visiting affected areas should protect themselves against Zika virus by taking individual protective measures to prevent mosquito bites, including using insect repellent, protective clothing, mosquito nets, screened doors and windows. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against Zika virus infection."

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued the following notices regarding Zika virus:

Public Health Notice

Travel Health Notice concerning Zika virus

For more information on Zika Virus please see the following links:

Public Health Agency of Canada Biosafety Advisory​

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care: Zika Virus

Public Health Ontario: Zika virus factsheet

World Health Organisation: Zika virus factsheet

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: Zika virus information

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: Zika and Sexual Transmission Infographic




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