Zika Virus

  1. Selection of Communicable Diseases

For this analysis, the communicable disease selected is:

  • Zika Virus
  1. Description of the Outbreak

Name of the Disease

The disease analyzed in this report is the Zika Virus, a mosquito-borne flavivirus.

Countries Involved

The Zika virus spread to several countries, mainly within the region referred to as the Americas. Brazil was the first and worst affected, and the outbreak started in May 2015 (Maharajan et al., 2016). Next was Brazil in July same year, followed by Colombia in October 2015, and El Salvador in November 2015 (Faizan et al., 2017). In December 2015, the virus turned up in Puerto Rico, and it negatively affected the island (Araujo et al., 2016). Across the United States, particularly in Florida, the virus arrived in July 2016, when humans experienced higher health risks and prevention measures (Duong et al., 2017). The virus affected these nations’s public health significantly while demonstrating the infectious potential of the virus and the necessity of unified actions on the global level.

Date the Outbreak was Discovered

The Zika virus outbreak was first discovered in Brazil in May 2015. The virus reached Colombia in October 2015, El Salvador in November 2015, and Puerto Rico in December 2015 (Zanluca et al., 2015). By July 2016, the virus had spread to the United States, particularly affecting Florida, illustrating the rapid international transmission of the disease (Zanluca & dos Santos, 2016).

  1. Epidemiological Determinants and Risk Factors

Based on previous Zika virus epidemic data, environment, life and health, and social factors are proposed as determinants and potential risk factors. Environmental factors pose a major threat, mainly because the principal types of Aedes mosquitoes that transmit the virus are mainly found in tropical and subtropical regions (Pergolizzi et al., 2021). These mosquitoes are usually found breeding in water that does not flow, such as ponds, puddles, and containers, usually found in these climates. The availability of these sanctuaries helps in the quick transmission of the virus within the areas infested.

There are also a few powerful biological factors that come into play. This factor makes the population vulnerable to the infection as they had no previous exposure to the Zika virus. Pregnant women are most vulnerable since the birth of the baby can have abnormalities such as microcephaly. Social factors of the disease also lead to the worsening of the outbreak. High population density, poor housing, and poor sanitation increase the breeding sites of mosquitoes and, hence, the virus transmission (Antoniou et al., 2020). Inadequate provisions for healthcare also hinder the early detection of diseases, cure, and elimination of them, as well as avoiding contact with sources that may lead to their outbreaks. Also, education level is one of the components of socioeconomic status. As the present study indicates, lower levels of education eminently hinder vector control measures meant for curbing the spread of the virus in the affected communities (Giraldo et al., 2023). The mentioned factors reveal the challenges of controlling and eradicating the Zika virus outbreaks.

  1. Route of Transmission

It is not a respiratory virus; it is transmitted in various ways, the most common being through the infected mosquito’s bite. The three main species that transmit the virus are Aedes, but most are Aedes aegypti. These mosquitoes get infected when they feed from another human being who already has the virus on his or her body (Antoniou et al., 2020). The affected civilians can pass the virus on to the rest of the population through the next bite they might give. This mode is especially dangerous because mosquitoes are common in tropical and subtropical areas.

However, there exist several secondary ways through which the virus can spread, such as sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, and even from a pregnant mother to her fetus. The risk of sexual transmission from an infected pregnant woman to her offspring is even more dangerous since it can cause congenital Zika syndrome and severe birth complications like microcephaly (Antoniou et al., 2020). Another way through which the virus can be transmitted is through sexual contact, which involves the transmission from an infected individual to a partner (Zanluca & dos Santos, 2016). Despite the rarity of these transmission modes, the virus can be passed through blood transfusions and the receipt of transplanted organs from affected individuals. These secondary routes prove that prevention and control methods need to be highly effective in order to intervene in the strengthening of Zika virus transmission.

  1. Impact on Community at a Systems Level

If the Zika virus breaks out in a given community, the repercussions are as follows:

The health care system. As mentioned, the healthcare system is the first to be affected by a Zika virus breakout. Healthcare services such as diagnostic, treatment, and prevention would be in high demand, and this would tactfully overwhelm local healthcare institutions (Masmejan et al., 2020). This would be a major challenge that would demand reallocation of resources for improvement of vector control measures, mandatory public health surveillance and employment of patient management measures for increased admission rates (Pergolizzi et al., 2021). These measures are useful to overcome and prevent the virus from spreading, but they will put pressure on healthcare facilities and use up all the most important assets.

Education systems would also be significantly affected due to the increased efficiency in identifying and tracking disease progression through overall population data analysis. Schools would have to establish particular health education programs to sensitize the institutes and their students and personnel regarding the prevention of the Zika virus (Zanluca & dos Santos, 2016). Additional precautionary measures that would be required due to the susceptibility of certain persons would include special precautions for pregnant women within the learning institution or working environment. In particular, local governments and businesses suffer great losses from extensive competition and high costs (Pergolizzi et al., 2021). Increased funding would be required to support structural spraying, information dissemination, crisis intervention programs, and disease prevention measures (Maharajan et al., 2016). The economic consequences would be most devastating, with such effects being foreseen in areas like the tourism and hospitality industries where travellers would be advised to stay away from the country and, in some cases, there would be no visitors. Such a broad influence of the virus indicates that only a synchronized effort with input from different fields of expertise can efficiently address the need to control and manage the spread of the Zika virus.

  1. Reporting Protocol

As detailed in the disease tracking protocol below, the following measures would be taken in the event of a Zika virus outbreak.

Initial Detection

These initial cases would be reported promptly to the local health department by the healthcare providers or labs that had gotten the results (Zanluca & dos Santos, 2016).

Local Health Department

Some of their tasks include data gathering, conducting case investigations, providing control measures to the suspected areas and providing weekly reports to the state health department (Faizan et al., 2017).

State Health Department

Such sources of information would include local health departments, to which they would give directives and reinforcement for control measures and frequently submit reports to the CDC. The CDC would then consider the isuation at the national and international level, deciding on how to guide state and local health departments and collaborating with the WHO and other health organizations across the globe (Maharajan et al., 2016). Under this structured protocol, the related issues concerning the outbreak are promptly contained and addressed.

  1. Prevention Strategies

Performing the following measures is crucial in eradicating the chances of the Zika virus outbreak in the community.

Community Education Strategy

To successfully promote change, extensive information campaigns are required to enhance public awareness of the Zika virus and how it can be transmitted and prevented (Giraldo et al., 2023). Fight mosquitoes by informing the public about the prevention of mosquito breeding places, the use of repellents, and safe sex practices (Antoniou et al., 2020). Mute the printed or electronic media content authored by people from different backgrounds to be culturally correct and readily understandable by everyone.

Vector Control Strategy

Implement comprehensive surveillance and control measures that will help control Aedes mosquito pests. Spray insecticide in high-risk mosquito breeding places and eliminate these places through the following practices called environmental management (Maharajan et al., 2016). People’s participation, including members of the community, local leaders, and other stakeholders, as well as support from health organizations, are paramount to the success of such vector control undertakings (Faizan et al., 2017). Thus, applying the abovementioned strategies can help decrease the threat of Zika virus transmission within the given community and maintain societal health.


The Zika virus outbreak underscores the importance of global health initiatives and the need for effective community health and population-focused nursing strategies. Understanding the epidemiological determinants, transmission routes, and potential community impacts is crucial for preparedness and response. Implementing robust reporting protocols and preventive strategies such as community education and vector control can significantly reduce the risk of Zika virus transmission and protect the health of individuals and communities.




Antoniou, E., Orovou, E., Sarella, A., Iliadou, M., Rigas, N., Palaska, E., Iatrakis, G., & Dagla, M. (2020). Zika virus and the risk of developing microcephaly in infants: A systematic review. In International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Vol. 17, Issue 11). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113806

Araujo, A. Q. C., Silva, M. T. T., & Araujo, A. P. Q. C. (2016). Zika virus-associated neurological disorders: A review. Brain, 139(8). https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/aww158

Duong, V., Dussart, P., & Buchy, P. (2017). Zika virus in Asia. In International Journal of Infectious Diseases (Vol. 54). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2016.11.420

Faizan, M. I., Abdullah, M., Ali, S., Naqvi, I. H., Ahmed, A., & Parveen, S. (2017). Zika Virus-Induced Microcephaly and Its Possible Molecular Mechanism. In Intervirology (Vol. 59, Issue 3). https://doi.org/10.1159/000452950

Giraldo, M. I., Gonzalez-Orozco, M., & Rajsbaum, R. (2023). Pathogenesis of Zika Virus Infection. In Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease (Vol. 18). https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-pathmechdis-031521-034739

Maharajan, M. K., Ranjan, A., Chu, J. F., Foo, W. L., Chai, Z. X., Lau, E. Y. Y., Ye, H. M., Theam, X. J., & Lok, Y. L. (2016). Zika Virus Infection: Current Concerns and Perspectives. In Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology (Vol. 51, Issue 3). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12016-016-8554-7

Masmejan, S., Musso, D., Vouga, M., Pomar, L., Dashraath, P., Stojanov, M., Panchaud, A., & Baud, D. (2020). Zika virus. In Pathogens (Vol. 9, Issue 11). https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110898

Pergolizzi, J., LeQuang, J. A., Umeda-Raffa, S., Fleischer, C., Pergolizzi, J., Pergolizzi, C., & Raffa, R. B. (2021). The Zika virus: Lurking behind the COVID-19 pandemic? In Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics (Vol. 46, Issue 2). https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpt.13310

Zanluca, C., De Melo, V. C. A., Mosimann, A. L. P., Dos Santos, G. I. V., dos Santos, C. N. D., & Luz, K. (2015). First report of autochthonous transmission of Zika virus in Brazil. Memorias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 110(4). https://doi.org/10.1590/0074-02760150192

Zanluca, C., & dos Santos, C. N. D. (2016). Zika virus – an overview. In Microbes and Infection (Vol. 18, Issue 5). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micinf.2016.03.003

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