The Zika Virus(PDF, 2MB) is actively spreading in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
The virus spreads quickly when infected individuals are bitten by the Aedes species mosquitos, passing the virus to the next person. Unlike other mosquito-borne illnesses spread by species active during dawn and dusk, Aedes mosquitoes are more active during the day.
W.H.O. recommends those planning trips affected areas delay travel. If you have traveled recently to an impacted area, .(PDF, 249KB)
Who's at risk?
Zika is especially dangerous for pregnant women as the virus may cause physical and neurological abnormalities in newborn babies.
Symptoms usually begin three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
- Joint pain
- Red eyes
- Muscle pain
- Pain behind the eyes
The illness is usually mild, with symptoms lasting several days to a week. Severe disease is uncommon, and no deaths have been reported.
The virus can be found in blood during the first week of infection, so individuals experiencing symptoms can reduce the spread of virus by avoiding further mosquito bites.
Contact your health care provider if you are experiencing these symptoms to test for Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses.
There is no vaccine to prevent and no medicine to treat Zika infections. The best way to prevent infection to reduce areas where mosquitoes breed around your home (https://www.epa.gov/mosquitocontrol/success-mosquito-control-integrated-approach#remove habitats) and use repellents and wear long sleeves, long pants and/or permethrin-treated clothing when outdoors.
Find out more about the Zika through your health care provider, or use the resources available on these government public health sites: