10 Facts about Zika
The Zika virus is on everyone’s radar, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is keeping a close eye on the latest developments. There is still a lot we do not know about Zika, such as how long people remain able to transmit it to others, but here’s a snapshot of what we do know, according to the CDC.
- There is no vaccine for Zika.
- Zika causes more concern than most other viruses because it is linked to birth defects. During pregnancy, a zika infection can pass from you to your baby, causing your baby to have serious problems that include microcephaly, a sign of incomplete brain development.
- Zika primarily spreads through infected mosquitoes These mosquitoes are aggressive and bite both in daytime and at night.
- You also can get Zika from having sex with a partner who is infected with Zika—before, during and after the partner exhibits symptoms. Use a condom to prevent the transmission of Zika. Use a condom during pregnancy if you have sex with a partner who has been in an area with Zika.
- The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites. When you go out, apply an EPA-registered insect repellent and wear long sleeves and long pants. Inside, keep screens on your windows, and remove standing water around your home.
- Pregnant women are advised not to travel to areas with Zika. If you live in an area with Zika or must travel there, take every precaution to prevent mosquito bites.
- Returning travelers infected with Zika can spread the virus through mosquito bites. During the early weeks of infection, a mosquito that bites someone with Zika can spread the virus to the people it bites next. So you can catch Zika even in areas outside the primary Zika zones.
- Symptoms of Zika are much like the flu or other viruses—fever, rash, joint pain, headache, muscle aches, red eyes. They last from a few days to about a week.
- Zika is easily diagnosed through a blood or urine test. It is treated successfully with rest, fluids and Tylenol.
- While Florida is the only U.S. state so far reporting locally contracted cases of Zika, all states except Alaska report cases of patients testing positively. Check the CDC U.S. map.