Zika virus

On 1 February 2016, the World Health Organization announced that the recent cluster of neurological disorders and neonatal malformations reported in the Americas region constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Zika virus has affected many Pacific Island Countries and Areas (PICs) since it was first introduced in 2007. The WHO Representative Office in the South Pacific is working closely with PICs currently affected by Zika as well as other areas that are at risk of Zika transmission due to the presence of the mosquitoes which can spread the virus from one person to another if it is introduced into the area.

Pacific Island Countries and Areas (PICs) with reported or indication of local Zika virus transmission

Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people. It is expected that Zika virus will continue to spread and it may be difficult to determine how and where the virus will spread over time. Since November 2015, there has been reported or indication of local Zika virus transmission in the following destinations in the Pacific islands countries and territories:

  • American Samoa
  • Fiji
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • New Caledonia
  • Samoa
  • Tonga

Key facts

  • Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
  • People with Zika virus disease usually have symptoms that can include mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
  • The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
  • The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

This page links all WHO information to its response on the Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

WHO Zika app for health workers and public