What you need to know about the Zika virus

The Zika virus is spreading far and fast – and it’s now a public health emergency in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. There is no vaccine for the disease. Here’s what you need to know.

How do people catch the Zika virus?

Zika virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito and can also be transmitted through blood. Possible cases of spread through sexual transmissions are still being investigated.
Zika Infographs for blog_Infection EN


If you show symptoms or are diagnosed with Zika, help prevent others in your family from getting sick by avoiding mosquito bites.
Zika Infographs for blog_Symptoms EN

How can I protect myself?

Simple measures can lower the risk of getting bitten by the mosquito carrying the Zika virus. These include using insect repellent, covering as much of the body as possible with long, light-coloured clothing.

Zika Infographs for blog_Avoid Mosquito Bites EN
No mosquitoes, no Zika! Eliminating places where mosquitoes can breed and putting screens on windows and doors can also help keep your surroundings safe.

Zika Infographs for blog_Eliminate M. Breeding Sites EN


As the mosquito bites during the day, infants, pregnant women and those ill with Zika should nap under mosquito nets.

Zika Infographs for blog_Avoid Daytime Bites EN

How do you treat Zika virus?

There is no vaccine or specific treatment currently available for the disease. If symptoms worsen, people should seek medical care and advice.

Zika Infographs for blog_Treatment EN


Should pregnant women be concerned about Zika?

Public health experts ‘strongly suspect’ that there is a relationship between the virus and the current spike in microcephaly in Brazil. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, take extra care to protect yourself from mosquito bites and speak to your health provider. Although there is still no conclusive evidence of the relationship between Zika and microcephaly, there is enough concern to warrant immediate action.

Zika Infographs for blog_Pregnancy EN
What is microcephaly?

Microcephaly is a rare condition where a baby is born with a small head. Babies and children with microcephaly often have challenges with their brain development as they grow older. Scientists are still investigating whether the increase in cases of microcephaly in Brazil is directly related to the Zika virus outbreak. 

What is UNICEF doing?

UNICEF is helping limit the spread of the Zika virus and its impact on children and their families, especially in the most disadvantaged communities. We’re working with governments to mobilize communities to protect themselves from infection and we’re appealing for $14 million to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of affected communities.

These funds will be used to help reach communities – nearly 200 million people – with the information they need to stay safe. You can learn more about our appeal here: http://www.unicef.org/appeals/Zika_response.html

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  1. First of all, sorry for being negative! I know it is supposed to help people and therefore it is a very nice gesture!
    For some parts of Brazil, it is though impossible to follow those instructions, which might explain why the virus is so common here.
    1. There are so many mosquitos, even though I spray myself usually 3 times a day with repelent, I am full with bites. Locals already gave up on that I think, as I do not see anyone except me using repelent.
    2. Houses are pretty much open for the environment around. Lose doors, instead of windows only some bars, fully open on the second floor…etc. You just can’t lock those lil monster out.
    3. It rains every single day – there is water everywhere. All the time.
    4. The waste treatment almost does not exist in the city – garbage bags are flooding the streets.

    I will definetely postpone all my plans of starting a family or I will leave this country/state. But still, I think it would be practical to think of solutions that matches the local environment.
    Still, these advices might help people in other places and I hope can stop or slow done the spead of the virus!

  2. UNICEF has really tried in my state in making enough publicity and awareness about Zika. It has become a household name even to the rural people.The good news is that we all have necessary information with regard to Zika and fully equipped with our nets for the well-being of our children. and the entire households. Most importantly, we will all engage in destroying mosquitoes breeding sites in our communities as a systemic measure.

    Warm greetings Herbert Mergener
    Unicef Sponsor and Project Volunteer

  4. Thanks UNICEF for providing with such useful information regarding ZIKA virus and also many methods to keep ourselves protected from mosquito bites

  5. I think Unicef should do more of sensitizing on awareness campaign in East and Central Africa due to that people are more relaxed and some don’t or have ever heard about the spread of ZIKA.

  6. Unicef are doing a great job,scientists should be put inplace to work on virus n prodproduction of vaccine if possible.

  7. I read all the instructions regarding zika virus. Seriouslay it is very dangerous and one have to adopt safty measures. You have listed things in very easy way I am thankful for such good Blog. http://fitnesscare.online/