What is Zika Virus?Zika Virus is a virus spread through mosquito bites of Aedes species mosquitoes. Aedes mosquitoes also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.
Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are:
- Joint Pain
- Muscle Pain
- Red Eyes
- Skin Rash
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
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Steps to prevent mosquito bites:
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 travels
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Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.
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.
From mother to child A mother already infected with Zika virus can pass the virus to her newborn during pregnancy or around the time of birth. If transmitted, the baby may develop brain abnormalities.
Through sexual contact
A man with Zika Virus symptoms can pass the virus to his sex partners before symptoms start and after symptoms resolve. The virus is present in semen longer than blood.
Through infected blood
At this time there are no cases related to blood transfusions in the U.S, however there are reported cases in Brazil.
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.
Men who reside in or have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who are concerned about sexual transmission of Zika.
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.
For current Zika information visit the following websites:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH)