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.
The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
Importantly, there are potential neurological and auto-immune complications of Zika virus disease. There has been an observed increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome coinciding with Zika virus infections in the general public, as well as an increase in babies born with microcephaly.
Knowledge management can improve coordination among the many actors involved in global health and development. Aspects of the Zika situation make it very challenging in terms of meeting the knowledge needs of affected individuals, with stress and worry inhibiting people’s ability to process new information. Socioeconomic levels can also affect people’s ability to access information. Strategic outreach and coordination can reduce misinformation and uncertainty, improve preventive behaviors, and increase treatment and recovery.