Document Type : Original Article


1 Deputy Minister of Public Health, MoH, Riyadh, Director, Saudi Arabia

2 Department of Emergency Preparedness and Response, MoPH, Doha, Qatar

3 National Center for Vector-borne Diseases, MoH, Jazan, Saudi Arabia

4 Acting Head, Communicable Diseases Control Programs, MoPH, Doha, Qatar

5 Department of Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases, WHO/EMRO, Cairo, Egypt

6 Department of Malaria Eradication, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

7 Director of the Infectious Diseases Control, MoH, Riyadh,Saudi Arabia

8 Department of Health Protection and Communicable Diseases Public Health, Qatar

9 Malaria program director, MoH, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


The Zika virus (ZIKV) became the latest threat to global health security when WHO declared on 1st February 2016, that recently reported clusters of microcephaly and other neurological disorders in Brazil constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). These clusters were reported concurrently with an outbreak of ZIKV, which has been ongoing in Brazil and other countries in the America region since 2015. A growing body of clinical and epidemiological data possibly leans towards a causal role for ZIKV as the occurrence of the clusters of microcephaly and other neurological disorders principally the Guillain-Barre´ syndrome are associated in time and place with the ongoing ZIKV transmission in the America region. So far, Zika viral transmission has been documented in a total of 69 countries and territories with autochthonous transmission from 2007 to 10 August 2016. The geographical range of ZIKV has been increasing steadily.
Considering the presence of competent vectors that transmit ZIKV in some parts of the Gulf countries, and the close relationship with Brazil, a local transmission of the virus is plausible once the virus is introduced through travel. This review suggests the integration of epidemiological and entomological surveillance for monitoring and control of the vectors
of ZIKV. The risks associated with ZIKV infection and the possible threat to the Gulf States was described. A strategic Zika response framework (SRF) for the Gulf States has been developed to meet their urgent need for a collaborative and coordinated response for prevention and spread of ZIKV infection. A coordinated response of all partners in the Gulf States across sectors and services at national, as well as, regional levels is required.