Background: A new page in the history of public health was turned when the word realised, during one of the new outbreaks of Zika virus, that infection in pregnant women could be transmitted to the foetus, causing microcephaly and, we now know, other manifestations of Congenital Zika Syndrome. The flavivirus was identified more than 60 years ago, and was not considered to be of public health importance until it started to cause outbreaks in 2007. In 2015, an epidemic of microcephaly was identified in Brazil, with space and time correlation to an epidemic of Zika; the possibility of a Congenital Zika Syndrome was suspected.
Objectives: To build a collection of healthcare evidence to provide those addressing the Zika outbreak with guidance.
Methods: We searched PUBMED, Google Scholar, TRIP database, WHO Zika Open Bulletin, PROSPERO and Twitter regularly, using the terms ‘zika’, ‘ZKV’, ‘dengue’ to identify systematic reviews, public health guideline or diagnostic studies. We included research evidence for the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of Zika virus; research evidence to support public-health interventions in preventing Zika or dengue virus infection and onward transmission; rapid diagnostic tests for Zika virus in the field. All articles were assessed and short summaries written.
Results: The ‘Zika Collection’ was published on 30 September 2016. It hosts curated freely available resources from systematic reviews about mosquito borne viruses, vector control in Dengue Virus, evidence-based guidelines from around the world, articles, and other useful information. Currently 77 articles have been identified to summarise, of which 32 have been completed and uploaded to the Collection.
Conclusions: Since publication, the Zika Collection has received just over 1000 pageviews, ranking it second (behind the EA collection for refugee health) amongst the most-viewed Evidence Aid Collections. On average, users spent 1:25 minutes on the page, suggesting the content is commanding attention. We will continue to encourage an evidence-based response to this crisis, and will report on usage of the special collection at the Summit.