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What You Need to Know


Learn More About the Origins of the Zika virus and How You Can Protect Yourself.

Zika virus was first discovered in Uganda in the 1940s. Since then, small outbreaks have appeared in Asia and Africa, but symptoms were generally mild and did not appear to have any long-term effects.

In 2015, Zika virus began spreading throughout the Americas. It was discovered that Zika can cause fetal microcephaly, as well as other neurologic abnormalities. This discovery and the proliferation in cases led to the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Zika virus an international public health emergency. The WHO has since removed that designation.

Johns Hopkins Medicine has considerable expertise in the area of infectious disease. Our experts have skills and research that are helping to answer important questions about Zika, including potentially related health concerns, vaccination and treatment.

The health and safety of our patients, their families and our employees are of utmost importance. At our hospitals, screening procedures have been implemented with a focus on recent travel. And we are actively examining this continuously changing situation to ensure the well-being of our patients and employees.

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