Zika virus

The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito and through sexual contact.


The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito and through sexual contact. This mosquito is found in the (sub-)tropics. The infection is often asymptomatic or causes only mild flu-like symptoms. Infection during pregnancy, however, can cause the child to suffer from physical and mental defects. Women are therefore advised not to travel to the tropics while they're pregnant.



  • Paralysis
    • Guillain-Barré syndrome
    • Limited in time, progressive
  • Infection during pregnancy
    • Premature birth or miscarriage
    • Child: microcephaly, i.e. head and brain are too small (causes mental deficiency)

Causes and treatment


Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible therapies
  • Identification of pathogen
    • Analysis of blood, saliva or urine
  • Treatment of symptoms

What can I do myself?

  • Mosquito protection
    • Light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long trousers impregnated with mosquito repellent
    • Mosquito nets
    • Mosquito spray
  • Follow the safer sex rules
    • Always use a condom or femidom during sexual intercourse
    • Don't get sperm or blood (including menstrual blood) in your mouth, and don’t swallow
  • Pregnancy (also if planned)
    • Women are expressly advised not to travel to affected areas
  • After trips to the tropics/sub-tropics
    • Wait for at least three menstrual cycles before trying to get pregnant
    • Men should use condoms for at least 3 months
    • Always use condoms until the end of the pregnancy

When to see a doctor?

Further information

Medical advice for travellers

Information about distribution (countries)

Federal Office of Public Health, FOPH (Bundesamt für Gesundheit, BAG)

Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Schweizerisches Tropen- und Public Health-Institut)


Zika virus, Zikavirus, Zika fever

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.