Zika is a disease that is spread by mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti). These mosquitoes also spread chikungunya and dengue. Symptoms of Zika include fever, rash, joint pain, and redness of the eyes. Muscle pain and headache also occur. These symptoms usually last for several days to a week. Hospitalization and death are not common with Zika infections. Currently in the United States and in West Virginia, Zika is associated with travel to countries where transmission is being reported (e.g. countries in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America).
Just like chikungunya and dengue, no vaccines or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika virus. Getting plenty of rest, drinking water, and taking medication (e.g. Tylenol) are recommended to treat the symptoms associated with the virus. It also important to avoid mosquitoes during the first week of illness since infections can be spread when a mosquito bites an infected person then bites another person who was not previously infected. Aedes albopictus, a mosquito species found in West Virginia, can transmit Zika.
Pregnant women in any trimester are advised not to travel to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission due to poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of infected mothers. Microcephaly, a condition where a baby is born with a smaller than normal head, has been reported in Brazil and some other countries. Sexual transmission of Zika has also been reported.
Report within 24 HOURS to the local health department.