Zika is an infection caused by the Zika virus. This virus is transmitted by a mosquito bite from the Aedes aegypti. The same mosquito that transmits Dengue and Chikungunya is also responsible for the tranmission of Zika. Scientists have also described cases where Zika was transmitted through intercourse.

Symptoms can appear after 3 to 12 days of having been bitten by an infected mosquito. These are as follows:

  • fever;
  • rash;
  • non-purulent conjunctivitis or very red eyes;
  • headache, body ache and pain in the joints;
  • weakness;
  • swollen legs.

Less frequent symptoms are: pain behind the eyeball (like in dengue), loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and bellyache. Symptoms can last from 2 to 7 days. Based on currently available information Zika is not considered a fatal disease. Patients with Zika present less severe symptoms compared to Dengue and Chikungunya. There is no treatment to cure Zika and no vaccine to protect against Zika.

Visit your doctor if you develop the symptoms described. Your doctor may prescribe something to help with the fever and pain. If the doctor finds the symptoms similar to Zika she may decide to request a laboratory test to determine if it concerns a real case of Zika virus infection.


: Although most cases of Zika will develop only relatively light symptoms, scientific information of past and present epidemics in larger countries indicates that Zika is related to increase of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). GBS is a type of paralysis resulting after an infection (viral or bacterial). GBS can last for a short or long period; the patient can recover completely or partially; but sometimes GBS can end in death.

GBS is not new to Curaçao. From past and current epidemics in other parts of the world, Zika may increase the chances of GBS, what makes us believe we have to expect more cases then is usual for Curaçao.

Pregnancy: Information obtained from the current epidemic in Brazil indicates that Zika infection during pregnancy is related to miscarriage, death of the newborn and cases of microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition in which the baby is born with a smaller head then is normal and is related to developmental problems and can lead to death.