Zika virus (ZIKV): clinical and travel guidance

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

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.

Following the 2015-16 outbreak in the Americas and Caribbean, Zika virus is now thought to be endemic in this region as well as in much of Africa and Asia.

Latest updates

27 February 2019

PHE and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) have reviewed and updated their Zika travel and sexual transmission advice 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 2 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 immunocompromised 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

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 27 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated with the latest guidance.
  2. Added update on the process to review Zika recommendations for travellers.
  3. Updated to reflect changes in travel and sexual transmission advice and revised Zika virus risk ratings.
  4. Updated UK case numbers.
  5. Latest update to UK case numbers
  6. Added statement about Zika virus country classifications.
  7. Update to UK case numbers, and update to laboratory testing advice
  8. Latest update to UK case numbers.
  9. Sexual transmission advice algorithm added.
  10. Latest updates to country specific risks
  11. Latest update to UK case numbers.
  12. Latest update to UK cases.
  13. Latest update to country specific risks
  14. Latest updates to sexual transmission advice, primary care guidance, travel advice, UK case numbers and laboratory diagnosis.
  15. Updated UK imported case totals.
  16. Updated country specific Zika risk.
  17. Updated country specific Zika risk.
  18. Latest update to UK imported case totals.
  19. Updated country specific Zika risk.
  20. Updated country specific Zika risk.
  21. Updated UK imported case totals.
  22. Latest update to country specific risk
  23. Latest update to UK case numbers.
  24. Latest update to sexual transmission advice.
  25. Latest updates to UK cases and country specific risks page.
  26. Latest update to country specific risks page.
  27. Latest update to UK case numbers.
  28. Latest update to country risks page.
  29. Latest update to UK case numbers.
  30. Updated UK imported case numbers.
  31. Updated country risks page.
  32. Updated UK case numbers.
  33. Updates to country specific risks.
  34. Update to Country specific risks page
  35. Latest updates: UK case numbers
  36. Latest update to country specific risks page.
  37. UK imported cases updated.
  38. Added latest update to Zika in pregnancy
  39. Added latest updates to UK imported cases and country specific risks.
  40. Added information on UK mosquito surveillance.
  41. Revised: sample testing advice, guidance in pregnancy, for primary care and neonatologists.
  42. First published.