an infectious disease caused by the Zika virus, which is transmitted to people by Aedes mosquitoes. Most people infected with Zika virus have no symptoms. If symptoms develop, the most common are fever, rash, joint pain, and/or red eyes.
Symptoms usually begin a few days to
a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito or having unprotected sex with an
infected partner. The illness
is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several
a week. There are other causes of fever and painful joints. If you have recently traveled to an
area where Zika virus is present
have recently had unprotected sex with an
infected partner and you have these symptoms, your healthcare provider can order
Zika and other tests to help determine the cause.
Zika virus infection in pregnant women can cause microcephaly (abnormally small head and brain) and other serious brain abnormalities in newborns. Read more about the relationship between pregnancy and Zika. Zika virus has also been associated with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), a rare autoimmune disease affecting the nervous system. Studies are ongoing to better understand the type of GBS that is apparently associated with Zika.
There is no specific treatment for Zika. Talk with your health care provider about medications to help reduce fever and pain; rest and fluids are also helpful. Most people will feel better in about a week.
Zika occurs in many tropical
and sub-tropical areas of the world, particularly in Africa,
Asia, and islands in the Pacific Ocean. Recent
outbreaks have occurred in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention for the latest information on
where Zika virus is circulating. Within the Zika-affected countries,
to elevations higher than 6,500 feet (2000 meters) is considered to pose minimal risk.
virus is primarily transmitted
by Aedes aegypti
mosquitoes (also known as yellow fever mosquitoes) and by Aedes albopictus mosquitoes (also known as Asian tiger
mosquitoes). These mosquitoes are not native to California. However, since 2011 they have been detected in several California counties (as displayed on the map, the invasive Aedes mosquitoes have been identified in the surrounding vector districts including Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District and San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District).
Aedes mosquito can only transmit
Zika virus after it
bites a person who has this virus in their blood. To date there has
been no local
mosquito-borne transmission of Zika
in California. Thus far,
Zika virus infections have been documented only in people who were infected while traveling outside the
United States or through sexual contact with an infected traveler. Zika
virus is not spread through casual
contact such as touching or hugging an infected person.
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. In
areas where Zika is present, everyone, including pregnant women and women of childbearing age, should protect themselves from mosquito bites.
For more information about Zika, visit the following resources: