What is the Zika Virus?

Zika Virus

What is the Zika Virus?

Zika Virus is a virus spread through mosquito bites of Aedes species mosquitoes. Aedes mosquitoes also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.


  • ​Fever

  • Rash

  • Joint Pain

  • Pain behind the eyes

  • ​Muscle Pain

  • Red Eyes

  • Headache

  • Vomiting


There is no medicine or vaccine to treat ZIKA virus disease.

  • See your medical provider for follow-up
  • Get plenty of rest and drink fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Take medicines, such as acetaminophen, to relieve fever and pain
  • Avoid Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding

Risk Reduction

  • Use insect repellents and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
  • Use mosquito bed nets if accessible during your travel
  • Empty standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets


Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species.

Through mosquito bites
Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.

Rarely, from mother to child
A mother already infected with Zika virus can pass on the virus to her newborn during pregnancy or around the time of birth.

Rarely, through infected blood or sexual contact
There has been at least one reported case of spread of the virus through blood transfusion and possible spread of the virus through sexual contact.

Pregnant Women
Men who reside in or have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who have a pregnant partner should abstain from sexual activity or consistently and correctly use condoms during sex (ie. vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse or fellatio) for the duration of the pregnancy.

Non-Pregnant Partners
Men who reside in or have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who are concerned about sexual transmission of Zika virus might consider abstaining from sexual activity or using condoms consistently and correctly during sex.

Pregnant Women

  • CDC recommends that all pregnant women who have traveled to or reside in areas with known Zika transmission be offered Zika virus testing.
  • Postpone travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent and follow instructions provided.
  • Talk to healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.

Countries and Territories with Transmission

Ongoing Zika Virus transmission has been documented in 27 countries and territories, mostly in Central America and South America.

  • ​Barbados
  • ​French Guiana
  • ​Panama
  • ​Bolivia
  • ​Guadeloupe
  • ​Paraguay
  • ​Brazil
  • ​Guatemala
  • ​Saint Martin
  • ​Colombia
  • ​Guyana
  • ​Suriname
  • Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,
    US territory
  • ​Haiti
  • ​U.S. Virgin Islands
  • ​Costa Rica
  • ​Honduras
  • ​Venezuela
  • ​Curacao
  • ​Jamaica
  • ​American Samoa
  • ​Dominican Republic
  • ​Martinique
  • ​Samoa
  • ​Ecuador
  • ​Mexico
  • ​Tonga
  • ​El Salvador
  • ​Nicaragua
  • ​Cape Verde


This entry was posted in Prince George's County News, Public Safety, U.S.A. News, World News. Bookmark the permalink.

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