Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29785319
Public Health Rev 2018;39:10
While until recently the small and isolated Zika outbreaks in Eastern Asia and Pacific islands had been overlooked, the large-scale outbreak that started in Brazil in 2015 and the increase of microcephaly cases in the same place and time made media headlines. Considered as harmless until recently, Zika has given rise to an important global crisis that poses not only health challenges but also environmental, economical, social, and ethical challenges for states and people around the world. The main objective of this paper is to review the recent Zika outbreak by covering a broad range of disciplines and their interactions. This paper synthetises experts’ interviews and reactions conducted during a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled “In the footsteps of Zika…approaching the unknown.” It reviews knowledge and uncertainties around epidemiology, geographical dispersion of the virus and its vectors through globalization and climate change, and also its modes of transmission, diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment of the disease. The resulting societal and ethical issues in pregnancy and women of reproductive age were also addressed as well as the global outbreak alert and response network in international organizations and social media. This paper attempted to combine each piece of the jigsaw puzzle of the Zika phenomenon to complete the best realistic picture, while keeping in mind the balance between the interdisciplinary nature and international context of Zika and its unique characteristics.