Zika virus infection

Statutory notification

Public health management

Important information

  • Infectious agent: Zika virus.
  • Transmission: The main way that Zika virus spreads is through mosquitoes. There is evidence that Zika virus can also be transmitted to humans sexually, perinatally and through blood transfusion.
  • Incubation period: 3 to 12 days.
  • Infectious period: There is limited evidence regarding the infectious period for sexual transmission, but virus may persist in semen for several months.
  • Restrictions on cases and potentially exposed persons:
    • Men who have travelled to a country with current or recent local Zika virus transmission and who have a pregnant partner should abstain from sexual activity or use condoms consistently for the duration of the pregnancy, irrespective of whether or not they have had symptoms consistent with Zika infection.
    • Men who have had a confirmed Zika virus infection and have a partner who is not pregnant, irrespective of capacity to become pregnant, should abstain from sexual activity or use condoms consistently for at least 6 months from the time of diagnosis.
    • Men who have travelled in a Zika risk area and remain asymptomatic, and who have a partner who is not pregnant, irrespective of capacity to become pregnant, should abstain from sexual activity or use condoms consistently for at least 8 weeks after returning.
    • Men should not donate sperm for at least 8 weeks if they remain asymptomatic after travel in a Zika risk area, and for at least 6 months from the time of diagnosis if Zika infection is confirmed.
    • Persons with Zika virus infection should be advised not to travel to the Zika-receptive area of Australia (northern Queensland) and to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes capable of transmitting the virus for at least the first week after onset of symptoms or laboratory confirmation, to reduce the chance of spreading the infection.
    • Cases cannot donate blood for a minimum of 4 weeks after recovery from all symptoms.
  • Contact management: Identify and manage pregnant women who were co-travellers or are sexual partners of confirmed or probable cases. Infants born to mothers infected with Zika virus during pregnancy should be tested and referred for specialist paediatric assessment.
  • Treatment: No specific anti-viral treatment. Symptomatic treatment only.
  • Immunisation: None available.
  • Case follow-up: Is conducted by public health units (Healthy WA) and the WA Department of Health.

  • Guidelines for health providers

  • WA Department of Health information on Zika virus infection for clinicians (PDF 295KB)
  • The Australian Department of Health (external site) has released a number of guidelines and information relating to pregnancy and sexual transmission, travelling overseas and public health management.
  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have released Guidelines on the Care of women with confirmed Zika virus infection during pregnancy in Australia (external site).
  • Zika virus fact sheet (Healthy WA)
  • Guidelines for public health units

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Public Health