Zika Virus Disease

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Zika virus disease (Zika) is spread primarily to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The Aedes species mosquito is found throughout tropical regions of the world and are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses. Mosquitoes become infected with the Zika virus when they bite a person already infected with the virus.  Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.  Most common symptoms include: fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), http://www.cdc.gov/zika/, this illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week, so hospital visits are usually not needed and deaths are rare.  There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat the Zika virus infection currently. Contact a health care provider if you develop symptoms after returning from an area that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified having the Zika virus.

Fact Sheets and Posters in Different Languages:
CDC fact sheets and posters for distribution to patients are available in languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Creole, and Korean. These resources cover a variety of topics, including travel information, insect repellent, sexual transmission, and mosquito control, http://www.cdc.gov/zika/fs-posters/index.html


The Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and has been linked to a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly in babies of mothers who had Zika virus while pregnant.  CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women if traveling to areas with reported Zika virus. Visit the CDC website for general information for pregnant women and precautions to take to prevent mosquito bites, https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/index.html

UCONN Health’s “MotherToBaby CT”program is available for women considering a pregnancy, pregnant or nursing, who have questions about various types of exposures, including the Zika virus. Visit the website here, or call 860-679-6199 / 800-325-5391, email: MotherToBaby@uchc.edu

FOR ADDITIONAL CONNECTICUT AND NATIONAL RESOURCES: Connecticut Department of Public Health’s “Zika Virus” web page, https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Epidemiology-and-Emerging-Infections/Zika-Virus, includes information on these topics, and much more:

SOURCE: Connecticut Department of Public Health (CTDPH); Health and Human Services: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); UConn Health Center: MotherToBaby CT