Published on June 13, 2016

Zika Virus Information

Zika virus is spread primarily through the bites of infected mosquitoes. Usually, the illness itself is rather mild. Infected people often display symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain, and headaches for up to a week. However, in some cases Zika virus can also be asymptomatic (no symptoms) and people might not even realize they have been infected. To prevent mosquito bites, it’s important to use an insect repellents containing DEET all day (including daytime hours).

The danger of Zika virus is not in the physical symptoms of the illness. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly (a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected), as well as other fetal brain defects.

Currently, there have been reports NO reports of local transmission. All continental United States cases are associated with travel to affected countries. Areas currently experiencing local borne Zika virus are many countries in the Caribbean, Central America, the Pacific Islands, and South America.

You are encouraged to contact your health care provider and pursue testing if you have become ill within two weeks of visiting an infected area. Pregnant women are also encouraged to seek testing for Zika virus if they have recently traveled to an infected area, even if they are asymptomatic. Zika virus can be spread by sexual contact so precautions should be taken. Refer the CDC website for the current recommendations.

Additional Zika Resources