February 5th, 2016
Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
However, the outbreak in Brazil has led to reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.
Modes of Transmission
• Mosquito bite
• Mother to child transmission (rare)
o Mother already infected with Zika virus near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn around the time of birth, but this is rare.
o It is possible that Zika virus could be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy. We are studying how some mothers can pass the virus to their babies.
o To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found.
• Spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact have been reported.
Zika Virus in the United States
• A total of 35 travel-associated Zika virus disease cases have been reported to CDC from U.S. states.
• No locally acquired vector-borne cases have been reported from the continental United States.
• Nine locally acquired cases and 1 travel-associated case have been reported to CDC from U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Countries with Zika Transmission
• Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, US territory
• Costa Rica
• Dominican Republic
• El Salvador
• French Guiana
• Saint Martin
• U.S. Virgin Islands
Call the local health department at 449-4838 or 449-7661 (after hours) or ISDH for assistance.
Questions call Deb McMahan, MD