Zika virus has been linked to a rare birth defect called Microcephaly. There are many sources of information on this topic. In this brief article, we will pull some material from those sources and also provide some links for more information.
Introduction (adapted from the CDC)
Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. The virus can be found in the bloodstream of an infected individual only for about 1-2 weeks. It does not linger, and there is no evidence that the same virus will show up in the body again in the future (unlike other viral diseases such as herpes, chickpox, and HIV for example).
Here are some links for the most up to date information
Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in the continental United States.
What we know
- Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
- Infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects
- Zika primarily spreads through infected mosquitoes. You can also get Zika through sex without a condom with someone infected by Zika, even if that person does not show symptoms of Zika.
- There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.
What we do not know
- How likely it is that Zika infection will affect your pregnancy.
- If your baby will have birth defects if you are infected while pregnant.
- The full range of health effects that Zika virus infection during pregnancy might lead to.
Zika Travel Information (CDC)
Check this page for the most up-to-date information before you make travel plans.