Zika virus disease (or Zika) is spread to people mostly through mosquito bites of the Aedes mosquito. Infected men can also spread Zika to their sexual partners. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are: fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Zika Virus FAQ
Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in areas of the Latin Americas, and tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, including the US, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infections in Brazil. In December 2015, Puerto Rico reported its first confirmed Zika virus case. Zika Travel Notice
With the recent outbreaks in South America and the Pacific Islands, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the US will likely increase. These imported cases may result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the US.
Prevention of the spread of Zika is important and there are a few simple precautions that can be taken:
- Take steps to prevent mosquito bites.
+ Use proper mosquito/bug repellent with Deet
+ Wear protective/long clothing when outdoors where mosquito activity occurs
- Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.
+ Use air conditioning instead of leaving doors and windows open
+ Clean out areas or items outside your home that may hold standing water (which is where they lay their eggs)
More prevention information may be found at: www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/
For more information, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html