Zika virus is transmitted primarily via infected mosquitoes – other routes of transmission are being investigated

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 4.2.2016 16.20
Press release 12/2016

Zika virus, which is spreading particularly in Latin America, transmits to humans primarily through mosquitoes. A few individual sexually-transmitted infections have been reported but reliable evidence of their significance to the spread of the epidemic has not been found.

The infection is usually mild or even asymptomatic and does not usually require hospitalisation.  Instead, an infection caused by Zika virus during pregnancy should be taken seriously. It is possible that the virus transmits from the mother to the foetus, causing congenital anomalies. The National Institute for Health and Welfare has recommended that pregnant women should consider postponing travel to areas where active Zika virus transmission is being reported.

Based on current knowledge, other than pregnant travellers do not need to be advised reconsideration of their travel plans. It is always advisable to protect oneself from mosquito bites in tropical countries by using insect repellents and by wearing light-coloured, long-sleeved and full-length clothing. A mosquito net should be used at night.

Mosquito types living in Finland do not transmit the virus.  

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the National Institute for Health and Welfare are following the Zika virus situation and will report about the matter as necessary.

More information about Zika virus can be found on the website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare. The website will be updated as new information becomes available.

Inquiries:

Mika Salminen, Director, National Institute for Health and Welfare, tel. +358 29 524 8454, [email protected]
Sari Ekholm, Senior Medical Officer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 29 516 3447, [email protected]
Paula Tiittala, Senior Medical Officer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 29 516 3033, [email protected]