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Zika Virus

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Information about Zika Virus

  1. What is Zika?
  2. The Zika virus is part of the same family of viruses that cause yellow fever, West Nile, Chikungunya and dengue.

Zika is receiving a lot of media attention because of a connection between the virus and microcephaly, a neurological disorder that results in babies being born with abnormally small brains.

  1. How is Zika spread?
  2. Zika is primarily spread through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother during pregnancy or around the time of birth. It is not known how often Zika is transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth.
  3. Who is at risk for infection?
  4. Anyone who is living or traveling to an area where Zika virus is found, who has not already been infected with Zika virus, is at risk for infection. Find out where the virus is found:
  1. What are the symptoms of Zika virus infection?
  2. About one in five people infected with Zika will get sick. The illness is usually mild. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin 2 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
  3. Is there a vaccine or medicine to treat Zika?
  4. No. There is no vaccine to prevent infection, nor medicine to treat Zika.
  5. What can you do to protect yourself against Zika?
  6. The only protection against Zika is to avoid travel to areas with an active infestation. If you do travel to a country where Zika is present, the CDC advises strict adherence to mosquito protection measures:
  • Use an EPA approved repellent over sunscreen
  • Wear long pants and long–sleeved shirts thick enough to block a mosquito bite, and
  • Sleep in air-conditioned, screened rooms
  1. What should I do if I think I have Zika?
  2. See your healthcare provider if you develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes with in two weeks after traveling to a country where Zika virus has been reported. Be sure to tell your provider where you traveled.