Sexual and reproductive health

Updated guidance on prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus

Photo of Zika health-care workers in El Salvador

6 September 2016 – The interim guidance on prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus has been updated with new evidence and advice. The primary transmission route of Zika virus is via the Aedes mosquito, however mounting evidence shows that sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible and more common than previously assumed. This is of concern due to an association between the Zika virus and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Pregnancy management in the context of Zika virus infection

Medical consultation of a pregnant woman in Colombia.
David Spitz

The risk of babies born with microcephaly has raised understandable concerns among women including those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. There are many unknowns regarding the possible causes of microcephaly.

Scientific journal articles

New Zika research in the American Region of WHO

February 2017: Seventeen new research proposals aimed at identifying solutions to address the Zika virus will soon be starting in 7 Latin American countries. They range from identifying transmission risk factors to evaluating diagnostic tools and examining the use of prenatal counselling and contraceptives.

WHO Zika virus research agenda

Front cover

The goal of the WHO Zika Virus Research Agenda is to support the generation of evidence needed to strengthen essential public health guidance and actions to prevent and limit the impact of Zika virus and its complications.
The Research Agenda identifies critical areas of research where WHO is uniquely placed to implement or coordinate global activities. Research and evidence are the foundation for sound health policies.

Support and harmonization of research in countries: Standardized research protocols

Standardized research protocols

A document summarizes the ongoing efforts of the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization, Institut Pasteur and the networks of Fiocruz, CONSISE and ISARIC to generate standardized clinical and epidemiological research protocols and questionnaires to address key public health questions. Specifically, data collected using the standardized protocols will be used to refine and update recommendations for prevention of Zika virus spread, surveillance and case definitions for microcephaly, to help understand the spread, severity, spectrum and impact on the community of ZIKV and to guide public health measures, particularly for pregnant women and couples planning a pregnancy.

Standardized research protocols

These protocols have been designed to maximize the likelihood that data and biological samples are systematically collected and shared rapidly in a format that can be easily aggregated, tabulated and analysed across many different settings globally. The protocols are listed below and can be adapted and used by research partners, Member States and the diverse institutions that comprise the global community. We encourage any and all study centres to contribute to these research efforts to better understand ZIKV.

The protocols above are still in a draft format and the information contained herein is subject to change.

Los protocolos antes mencionados aún se encuentran en un formato de borrador y la información que contienen está sujeta a cambios.


Zika virus and complications.

Full coverage of the current situation regarding Zika virus, clusters of microcephaly cases, and neurologic disorders in some areas affected by Zika virus.