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. [WCCHD Zika Intro Presentation]
No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika)
Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below)
Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime
Zika is a virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. Recently, Zika has been confirmed in the Western hemisphere, causing major outbreaks in South and Central America, and the Caribbean. Locally acquired cases have also been reported from Mexico and Puerto Rico. Travelers to these countries could carry the virus back to the United States and infect local mosquito populations. The southern portion of the United States, including Texas, is home to a mosquito population that could potentially become infected with the virus and transmit it to residents. To date, transmission within the United States is limited to a single case in Texas.
Q: What are the symptoms of Zika? About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika). The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting. Deaths due to Zika have not been reported. A possible link [PDF - 1 page] between Zika virus infection in pregnant women and subsequent birth defects is being investigated in Brazil. Additional associations between Zika infection and Guillain Barre Syndrome have been reported, but not yet confirmed.
Q: Where does it occur? Outbreaks of Zika virus disease (or Zika) previously have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Zika virus likely will continue to spread to new areas. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infections in Brazil. The virus has since spread to much of South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Locally-transmitted Zika virus has been reported in one person in Texas, however all other cases in the US are travel-associated. With the recent outbreaks in the Pacific Islands and South America, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase. These imported cases may result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the United States.
Q: How does the disease spread? A: 1. Through mosquito bites. Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses. • These mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases. They are aggressive daytime biters, prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near people. • 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.
2. Rarely, from mother to child • A mother already infected with Zika virus near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn around the time of birth, but this is rare. • To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found.
3. Possibly through infected blood or sexual contact • In theory, Zika virus could be spread through blood contact. • There have been three reported cases of Zika transmission through sexual contact.
Q: Has anyone in Texas been diagnosed with Zika? A: Yes, most cases in Texas are travel-associated, meaning the persons got infected outside the United States; however, there is currently one case of local transmission via sexual contact in Texas.
Q: Has anyone from Texas been bitten by a mosquito in Texas and come down with Zika? A: No. There is currently no evidence that any mosquitoes in Texas carry the Zika virus.
Q: How long does it take for the disease to develop? A: Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. All travelers returning from countries known to have Zika should see their doctor immediately if they start to feel ill within two weeks after returning home.
Q: Is there a vaccine for Zika? A: There is no vaccine to prevent Zika.
Q: What is the treatment for Zika? A: While there is no medicine to specifically treat Zika, your physician can help manage symptoms.
Q: What mosquito species carries the Zika virus? A: Zika virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Both species are common in Texas and can spread Zika virus. This type of mosquito prefers to lay their eggs in containers that hold small amounts of stagnant water, such as bird baths, buckets and tires. They do not typically breed in running water such as creeks or large ponds. These mosquitoes mostly bite during the day time hours, especially in the mornings and before sunset.
Q: Will mosquito truck spraying kill this mosquito? A: Mosquito truck spraying is not the most efficient or effective way to kill this mosquito, especially since it is most active and bites during the daytime. This mosquito will hide in vegetation during the hours when mosquito spraying is typically done, usually before dawn and after dusk.
Spanish - Los CDC emiten recomendaciones provisionales para viajeros con relación al virus del Zika para 14 países y territorios en Centroamérica, Sudamérica y el Caribe