While there are no reported cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in the United States, at lease three people in Florida contracted the disease while traveling to South America. Mosquito season will be here soon.
What is Zika?
It's a virus that is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, which is common in Florida.
How does it spread?
If a Aedes mosquito bites an infected person, it can pick up the virus and transmit it to another person through another bite.
According to the CDC only 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (but all who are infected can transmit the disease through mosquito bites).
The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Deaths are rare.
How is Zika treated?
No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections. To treat the symptoms:
What to do Right Now?
When traveling to countries where active Zika virus transmissions are known, CDC reccomends the following:
What if I am Pregnant? Or thinking about becoming Pregnant? Is it OK to travel to a country where cases of Zika have been reported?
Until more is known, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant:
More information about Zika can be found here: CDC: Zika Virus Information