How does one get to the Zika virus
Information about the Zika virus
Before the introduction of mandatory reporting, the exact number of infections was not yet known. The Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) has so far diagnosed individual cases of return travelers and one case of sexual transmission in Germany. Due to the introduction of the obligation to notify and the more detailed examination of returning travelers, an increase in the absolute numbers is to be expected. The notification requirement will help to ensure that the infection process in Germany can be better monitored.
Germany has sufficient laboratory capacity to detect the virus. Both detection methods - direct virus detection and serological detection - are available. Health insurance companies have to reimburse the costs for an examination if the attending physician arranges this due to a suspected infection. Pregnant women and their sexual partners who have traveled to the outbreak areas can get tested as part of prenatal care.
Informing the public
In its "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Zika Virus Infections", the Robert Koch Institute provides information on the current situation in Germany. The Federal Foreign Office advises pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant against avoidable travel to risk areas. For precautionary reasons, they should also use condoms for six months when they have sexual contact with male travelers returning from outbreak areas. Depending on their personal risk profile when traveling to outbreak areas, male returnees should consider protected sexual intercourse for the same duration in order to protect sexual partners. Further information can be found in the information sheet on the Zika virus infection (PDF file - not accessible, 250 KB).
The German government has now renewed a research agreement on zoonoses, which intensifies research into diseases between animals and humans.
With the "mosquito monitoring" of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut as well as the recommendations of the expert commission "Mosquitos as carriers of diseases" the countries get important support in the fight against the Asian tiger mosquito.
Questions and answers about the Zika virus on the Robert Koch Institute website
Overview page of the Robert Koch Institute on the Zika virus
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