Zika is a virus spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is also spread through sexual contact and blood transfusions. It is not a new virus; but it is now spreading rapidly in Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands. There is no vaccine and no cure.
There are 472 travel-related cases in the continental United States, including 13 in Georgia. Puerto Rico is experiencing an epidemic. Mosquitoes capable of harboring Zika live here in Georgia. A big concern are birth defects and other poor outcomes in babies of women infected while pregnant.
- About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus get sick. Most who get sick experience mild illness.
- Most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis (red eyes).
- Symptoms typically begin 2 to 7 days after exposure.
Zika is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. It can also be transmitted through sexual contact and from a pregnant mother to her baby.
Who is at risk of being infected?
Anyone who is living in or traveling to an area where Zika virus is found who has not already been infected with Zika virus is at risk for infection, including pregnant women.
What countries have Zika?
Areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to change. Pregnant women and women of childbearing age should consider their specific risks when making travel plans.
The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to avoid being bitten.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Use an insect repellent containing DEET.
- Drain empty containers holding standing water where mosquitoes can breed.
- Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
Source: CDC, GDPH Updated 5/17/2016