Zika virus disease
Zika is a virus passed to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, joint pain, rash, and red eyes (conjunctivitis).
For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) website at: www.cdc.gov/zika/.
Zika virus infection; Zika virus; Zika
The Zika virus is named after the Zika forest in Uganda, where the virus was first discovered in 1947.
HOW ZIKA CAN SPREAD
Mosquitoes spread the Zika virus from person to person.
Zika can be passed from a mother to her baby.
The virus can be spread through sex.
Zika can also be spread through:
WHERE ZIKA IS FOUND
Before 2015, the virus was found mainly in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In May 2015, the virus was discovered for the first time in Brazil.
It has now spread to many territories, states, and countries in:
The virus was confirmed in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and United States Virgin Islands.
The disease has been found in travelers coming to the United States from affected areas. Zika has also been discovered in one area in Florida, where the virus is being spread by mosquitoes.
Only about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus will have symptoms. This means that you can have Zika and not know it.
Symptoms tend to occur 2 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. They include:
Symptoms are usually mild, and last for a few days to a week before going away entirely.
Exams and Tests
If you have symptoms of Zika and have recently traveled to an area where the virus is present, your health care provider may do a blood test to check for Zika. You also may be tested for other viruses spread by mosquitoes, such as dengue and chikungunya.
There is no treatment for Zika. Like the flu virus, it has to run its course. You can take steps to help relieve symptoms:
A Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a rare condition is called microcephaly. It occurs when the brain does not grow as it should in the womb or after birth and causes babies to be born with a smaller-than-normal head.
Intense research is currently being done to understand how the virus may spread from mothers to unborn babies and how the virus may affect babies.
Some people infected with Zika have later developed Guillain-Barré syndrome. It is unclear why this may occur.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of Zika. Let your provider know if you have traveled recently in an area where the virus is spread. Your provider may do a blood test to check for Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses.
Call your health care provider if you or your partner has been to an area where Zika is present, or live in an area with Zika and you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant.
There is no vaccine to protect against Zika. The best way to avoid getting the virus is to avoid getting bit by mosquitoes.
The CDC recommends that all people traveling to areas where Zika is present take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
When you return from travel to an area with Zika, you should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks. This will help ensure you don’t spread Zika to mosquitoes in your area.
The CDC makes these recommendations for women who are pregnant:
The CDC makes these recommendations for women who are trying to become pregnant:
The CDC makes these recommendations for women who are NOT trying to become pregnant:
Zika can't be spread after the virus has passed from the body. However, it's unclear how long Zika may remain in vaginal fluids or semen.
Areas where the Zika virus occurs are likely to change, so be sure to check the CDC website for the most recent list of countries affected and for the latest travel advisories.
If you get Zika, try to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes so you do not pass the virus to others.
Brooks JT, Friedman A, Kachur RE, LaFlam M, Peters PJ, Jamieson DJ. Update: interim guidance for prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus - United States, July 2016. Updated July 25, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(29):745-747. www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6529e2.htm?s_cid=mm6529e2_w. Accessed August 15, 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All countries & territories with active Zika virus transmission. www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html. Updated August 12, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pregnant women. www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/protect-yourself.html. Updated August 12, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Protect yourself during sex. www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/protect-yourself-during-sex.html. Updated August 5, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Protect yourself and others. www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/protect-yourself-and-others.html. Updated July 25, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zika virus for health care providers: clinical evaluation and disease. www.cdc.gov/zika/hc-providers/preparing-for-zika/clinicalevaluationdisease.html. Updated June 28, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zika virus: symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. www.cdc.gov/zika/symptoms/index.html. Updated June 21, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zika virus: transmission and risks. www.cdc.gov/zika/transmission/index.html. Updated July 25, 2016. Accessed August15, 2016.
Johansson MA, Mier-Y-Teran-Romero L, Reefhuis J, Gilboa SM, Hills SL. Zika and the risk of microcephaly. N Engl J Med. 2016;375(1):1-4. PMID: 27222919. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27222919.
Oduyebo T, Igbinosa I, Petersen EE, et al. Update: interim guidance for health care providers caring for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure - United States, July 2016. Updated July 25, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(29):739-744. www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6529e1.htm?s_cid=mm6529e1_w.htm. Accessed August 15, 2016.
Review Date: 1/28/2016
Reviewed By: Arnold Lentnek, MD, Infectious Diseases Medical Practice of NY and Clinical Research Center of CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update: 08/15/2016.
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