Breastfeeding in the context of Zika virus

Interim guideline

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 4
Publication date: 29 June 2016
Languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
WHO reference number: WHO/ZIKV/MOC/16.5



The main mode of Zika virus transmission is through infected Aedes mosquitoes. However, current widespread transmission of the virus has raised questions as to whether transmission can also occur during breastfeeding, a practice essential to infant and young child survival and development. WHO recommendations to start breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth and to continue for the first 6 months of life remain valid in the current context of Zika virus transmission.

The purpose of this document is to provide interim recommendations to guide breastfeeding practices in the context of Zika virus. A systematic review of evidence will be conducted in March 2016 to revise and update these recommendations.

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