Glossary of Zika virus terms in German and English Zika virus is expected to infect between three and four million people in 2016. We have developed a German-English glossary of terms relating to Zika, a global public health emergency described as “a pandemic in progress”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). This is the same category as Ebola. The current outbreak started in Brazil in May 2015, and has been spreading rapidly. Since October 2015, there has been a surge in reported cases of microcephaly (babies being born with abnormally small heads) in north-east Brazil. The WHO says that a link between Zika and this increase in microcephaly in Brazil is “strongly suspected”.

About Zika virus

Zika is an arbovirus, like dengue and chikungunya. All three viruses are transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Zika can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or birth. It can also be transmitted by blood transfusion or sexual contact.

English German Notes
Aedes mosquitoes (A. aegypti and A. albopictus). Tigermücken (pl.) (Aedes aegypti und Aedes albopictus) German synonyms for A. aegypti: Stegomyia aegypti; Ägyptische Tigermücke (f.); Denguemücke (f.); Gelbfiebermücke (f.). German synonyms for A. albopictus: Stegomyia albopicta; Asiatische Tigermücke (f.)
arbovirus Arbovirus (n.)
chikungunya Chikungunya-Fieber (n.)
dengue Dengue-Fieber (n.) Also: Denguefieber (n.)
Public Health Emergency of International Concern globaler Gesundheitsnotstand (m.)
Zika virus Zika-Virus (n.) [Source: Gesellschaft für Virologie] Also: Zikavirus (n.) [Source: Robert Koch Institut]

Zika symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and/or conjunctivitis. Other symptoms include headache and muscle pain. A possible link between Guillain-Barré syndrome is being investigated. However, most people infected with Zika are asymptomatic. Zika is diagnosed via a blood test and treatment is focused on the symptoms.

English German
asymptomatic asymptomatisch; symptomfrei
conjunctivitis Konjunktivitis (f.); Bindehautentzündung (f.)
fever Fieber (n.)
Guillain-Barré syndrome Guillain-Barré-Syndrom (n.)
headache Kopfschmerzen (pl.)
joint pain Gelenkschmerzen (pl.)
maculopapular rash [makulopapulöses] Exanthem (n.); [makulopaulöser] Hautausschlag (m.)
muscle pain Muskelschmerzen (pl.)

Zika, pregnancy and microcephaly

A link between Zika and microcephaly is currently strongly suspected but has not been confirmed. Officials in some countries affected by Zika have advised women to delay getting pregnant. However, contraception is not widely available in the area and abortion is illegal in many of the countries affected.

English German
abortion Interruptio (m.); Schwangerschaftsabbruch (m.); Abtreibung (f.)
anencephaly Anenzephalie (f.)
birth defect Fehlbildung (f.); Missbildung (f.); Geburtsfehler (m.)
congenital anomaly kongenitale Anomalie (f.)
contraception Kontrazeption (f.); Empfängnisverhütung (f.)
developmental delay Entwicklungsverzögerungen (pl.)
foetus (UK) / fetus (US) Fetus (m.); Fötus (m.); Ungeborene (n.)
intellectual disability geistige Behinderung (f.)
microcephaly Mikrozephalie (f.)
neurological disorder neurologische Erkrankung (f.)

Zika prevention

There is no vaccine for Zika. In areas with the Zika virus, people are advised to practice safe sex and prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent, covering exposed skin and using screens or mosquito nets.

English German
insect repellent Mückenschutzmittel (n.); Repellent (n.)
mosquito bite Mückenstich (n.); Moskitostich (n.)
mosquito net Moskitonetz (n.)
safe sex “safer sex” (m.); Verwendung (f.) von Kondomen

Other articles in this series

This article is part of a series of German-English glossaries on infectious diseases. Have a look at the other articles in the series:

References and further information

In English:
In German:[tt_news]=135&cHash=a1472a41911d6bb4ecec2bbbc7cc55d4X

Image credit: © #49141 (WikiImages)

By Jayne Fox, German-English medical translator and editor. German glossary terms and references by Imke Brodersen, English-German medical translator. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Head over to Google+ or Twitter to continue the conversation!