Zika Virus

Zika Virus

Zika Virus


What is it……

Zika is a virus closely related to West Nile, Dengue and yellow fever. It is spread by mosquitoes that are found in tropical regions.

Who can get Zika?

Anyone can get Zika. Currently, the only people who have contacted this virus have travelled to areas where there are active and ongoing cases of Zika. These location include South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. Pregnant women should avoid travelling to affected locations for risk of microcephaly.

How is Zika spread?

The Zika virus is spread through a bite from an infested mosquito. Rarely, Zika can be spread from mother to child during pregnancy. There have been a few reports of Zika being transmitted through sexual contact or blood transfusions.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms include fever, rash, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and joint pain. Some people have also complained of headaches and muscle pains with the Zika virus. The symptoms usually last several days to a week and often began 2-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

What is the treatment for Zika?

There is no specific treatment for the Zika virus. Treatment consists of supportive treatment based on the patient’s symptoms and clinical condition.

Treat the symptoms:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Take medicine such as acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.
  • Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

How is Zika diagnosed?

There is a blood test available, please see a healthcare professional if you have or think you may have been infected with the Zika virus.


For further information please refer to: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html

For more information contact the Health and Wellness Center at 202-884-9615