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Zika Virus

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Eric Cvetnick

Personal Health



Zika Virus

The Background:

Zika virus is a virus spread to people through mosquito bites of Aedes species mosquitoes. Aedes mosquitoes also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Zika virus is not currently found in the continental United States.

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.

In May 2015, Zika virus was identified in Brazil and has resulted in a large outbreak in that country. There have been reports in Brazil of pregnant women with poor pregnancy outcomes, including giving birth to babies with a condition called microcephaly. Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. In response, CDC has issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. There have also been reports of a potential association between Zika virus infection and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological disease that can affect children and adults.

Non-travel or locally aquired Zika cases have been identified in Florida, but not Maryland. For Zika case counts of Maryland residents visit MDH’s website. Zika virus infections have been identified in Maryland residents and other states who have traveled to countries with ongoing transmission. Laboratory confirmed Zika cases in the US and other countries can be found on these maps.

Avoiding Mosquito Bites

Mosquito Bite Prevention

Find Insect Repellent Right For You

CDC Information for Pregnant Women

Question and Answers: Zika virus infection (Zika) and pregnancy

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