Zika Resources

About Zika Virus Disease

 Top five things everyone needs to know about Zika fact sheet thumbnail

Zika virus disease, or Zika, is caused by the Zika virus. Zika virus is primarily spread from person-to-person through the bite of an infected mosquito of the Aedes species. Zika can also be transmitted sexually.

Common Zika symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis ( “pink eye”). However, symptoms are often mild and many people may not  realize that they are infected.

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, including microcephaly. Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected. Babies with microcephaly frequently have smaller brains that have not developed properly.

Preventing Zika Infection

No vaccine exists to prevent Zika.

The best way to prevent Zika infection is to prevent mosquito bites. Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime. Mosquito bites can be prevented by:

  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Staying in places with air conditioning and/or window and door screens
  • Controlling mosquito populations inside and around your home
  • Using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents
  • Wearing permethrin-treated clothing

Sexual transmission of Zika can be prevented by using condoms or not having sex.

More information on preventing Zika infection from mosquito bites and sexual transmission is available from the CDC.