Zika is a type of virus that is spread mainly through mosquito bites but can also be spread from a pregnant mother to her fetus and through sex. Since July 20, 2016, there have been 5,200 cases of Zika in the United States and its territories, as well as a recent climb in the number of cases occurring in multiple countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, and South America. The symptoms of Zika are similar to that of any virus and include fever, rash, muscle and joint pain and headache. Many patients do not experience symptoms. Zika virus is diagnosed with a blood test ordered by your medical provider. It cannot be prevented by vaccine. The population that is most worrisome with this virus is women of childbearing age and pregnant women because they can pass this to the unborn baby. A baby who is infected can have microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects and overall problems with growth and development. Miscarriage may also occur.
For more general information on the Zika virus visit this website:
The CDC has released helpful prevention guidance which is particularly important if you travel to an area with active Zika transmission. It is important to remember to follow the guidance not only when you are in an area with active Zika transmission, but also for three weeks after you return.
Pregnant women should not travel to areas with active Zika transmission.
To access the CDC prevention guidance, visit this website:
To access information about areas with active Zika transmission, visit this website:
Prevent infection with the Zika virus by preventing mosquito bites. Reduce your risk of being bitten by:
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outside
- Using EPA-registered insect repellents
- Installing screens on your windows and doors
- Emptying containers that collect water
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