Zika Virus Updates

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Zika Virus Updates

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Zika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). People can also get Zika through sex with an infected man, and the virus can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly , as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

What we know

  • Pregnant women can be infected with Zika virus.
  • The primary way that pregnant women get Zika virus is through the bite of an infected mosquito.  
  • Zika virus can be spread by a man to his sex partners.
  • A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus.
  • Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or at delivery.

What we do not know

  • If a pregnant woman is exposed
  • We don’t know how likely she is to get Zika.
  • If a pregnant woman is infected
  • We don’t know how the virus will affect her or her pregnancy.

For more detailed information and further explanation of risks and prevention measures, please visit the Centers for Disease Control page link below. 

CDC comprehensive Zika virus information