How ZIKA spreads
Zika virus is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters. They can also bite at night.
Zika virus is also spread from a pregnant woman to her baby and through sex with an infected person.
Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are:
- Joint pain
- Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
- Muscle Pain
Symptoms can last for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.
Risks Associated with ZIKA
Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth.
There have also been increased reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome, an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, in areas affected by Zika.
How to Prevent ZIKA
Tip and Toss
- Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. Once a week, turn over or throw out items outside your home that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, and trash containers.
Dress and Defend
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol. Always follow the product label instructions
- Wear long-sleeved pants and shirts to cover your arms and legs
- Prevent sexual transmission of Zika by using condoms or not having sex