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Zika preparedness in Australia

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Our comprehensive national response encompasses prevention and surveillance, as well as monitoring and controlling Aedes aegypti in Australia

The spectrum of clinical illness for Zika virus infection is generally not severe — about 80% of cases are asymptomatic1 — and the infection was not previously thought to be cause for serious public health concern. There is no specific treatment for, nor a vaccine against, a Zika infection.

Recent disquiet has been raised by emerging evidence of possible vertical transmission of Zika, the development of severe congenital abnormalities, including microcephaly,2,3 and of a possible link to fetal deaths.4 In addition, a possible link to Guillain–Barré syndrome has been reported.5,6 The World Health Organization declared the clusters of microcephaly and neurological disorders a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 1 February 2016.7 Knowledge about any causal link between Zika virus and…