Zika virus (ZIKV): clinical and travel guidance

Travel and clinical advice on Zika: assessing pregnant women following travel; epidemiology; symptoms; transmission.

Public Health England (PHE) is aware that the United States’ Centers for Disease Control have updated their recommendations for travellers on the avoidance of sexual transmission of Zika virus infection. PHE is in the process of reviewing its own recommendations and will update them soon. Until then, the existing guidance available on the GOV.UK Zika Pages and on the National Travel Health Network and Centre Country information pages remains valid for UK travellers.

Zika is a mosquito-borne infection caused by Zika virus, a member of the genus flavivirus and family Flaviviridae. Zika virus was first isolated from a monkey in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947.

Since 2015, an outbreak of Zika virus infection has been occurring in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Oceania (Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia) and some parts of Asia and Africa.

Latest updates

WHO, in conjunction with US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, developed a revised Zika country classification scheme which was published in March 2017. PHE and NaTHNaC have reviewed and updated their Zika travel and sexual transmission advice as a result and have made changes to the risk ratings in some countries.

Travellers should use the Country Information Pages on the NaTHNaC website for up to date and detailed advice for those travelling to countries or areas affected by Zika virus. The CIP are also linked to each individual country from the A to Z country list.

For further advice regarding:

Epidemiology and cases diagnosed in the UK

Symptoms and complications


  1. Zika virus: transmission

Preventing infection by sexual transmission

Travel advice

Travel associated risks of Zika have been classified into 3 categories based on the current and potential epidemiological situation in order to ensure that travel advice is appropriate and proportionate.

See also Zika virus and immuncocompromised patients

  1. Zika virus: country specific risk
  2. Zika virus: travel advice
  3. Mosquito bite avoidance for travellers

Zika and pregnancy

Guidance for primary care and clinicians has been jointly developed by PHE, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Royal College of Midwives, and Health Protection Scotland.

Zika virus infection may present an increased risk for certain groups of the population, particularly pregnant women. Specific travel advice for women planning pregnancy or who are currently pregnant is available.

Interim advice for health professionals.

Zika virus briefing for midwives.

Neonatologist guidance

Primary care guidance

Guidance for primary care and clinicians has been jointly developed by PHE, Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association.

Zika virus infection is not a notifiable disease in England.

Immunocompromised patients

Laboratory diagnosis

  1. Zika virus: sample testing advice

UK risk assessment

If a person acquires Zika abroad and becomes ill on their return to the UK, any public health risk to the wider population is negligible, as the mosquito that transmits the virus is not found in the UK.

  1. HAIRS risk assessment: Zika virus

UK mosquito surveillance

  1. Mosquito surveillance
Published 11 December 2015
Last updated 8 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added update on the process to review Zika recommendations for travellers.
  2. Updated to reflect changes in travel and sexual transmission advice and revised Zika virus risk ratings.
  3. Updated UK case numbers.
  4. Latest update to UK case numbers
  5. Added statement about Zika virus country classifications.
  6. Update to UK case numbers, and update to laboratory testing advice
  7. Latest update to UK case numbers.
  8. Sexual transmission advice algorithm added.
  9. Latest updates to country specific risks
  10. Latest update to UK case numbers.
  11. Latest update to UK cases.
  12. Latest update to country specific risks
  13. Latest updates to sexual transmission advice, primary care guidance, travel advice, UK case numbers and laboratory diagnosis.
  14. Updated UK imported case totals.
  15. Updated country specific Zika risk.
  16. Updated country specific Zika risk.
  17. Latest update to UK imported case totals.
  18. Updated country specific Zika risk.
  19. Updated country specific Zika risk.
  20. Updated UK imported case totals.
  21. Latest update to country specific risk
  22. Latest update to UK case numbers.
  23. Latest update to sexual transmission advice.
  24. Latest updates to UK cases and country specific risks page.
  25. Latest update to country specific risks page.
  26. Latest update to UK case numbers.
  27. Latest update to country risks page.
  28. Latest update to UK case numbers.
  29. Updated UK imported case numbers.
  30. Updated country risks page.
  31. Updated UK case numbers.
  32. Updates to country specific risks.
  33. Update to Country specific risks page
  34. Latest updates: UK case numbers
  35. Latest update to country specific risks page.
  36. UK imported cases updated.
  37. Added latest update to Zika in pregnancy
  38. Added latest updates to UK imported cases and country specific risks.
  39. Added information on UK mosquito surveillance.
  40. Revised: sample testing advice, guidance in pregnancy, for primary care and neonatologists.
  41. First published.