Zika Virus Information

What is Zika virus infection?
Zika virus infection is a viral disease primarily spread to people through bites of infected mosquitoes, but sexual transmission has also been documented. Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on infected persons. Zika virus is transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti (Yellow fever mosquito). Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) can also spread the virus. The basic facts about Zika can be found on VDH' s website.

The Virginia State Zika Response Plan has been published  and provides information related to the management of zika as we move through mosquito season.

There are several steps to be followed in order to avoid mosquito bites and some of them are:
- wear long-sleeve clothing when spent time outside
- prevent mosquitoes from going inside your home by installing or replacing windows screens
- clear any standing water collected in containers in your property to reduce the number of mosquito's breeding sites
- wear EPA approved repellent ( make sure to follow the instructions from the product labels)
More information regarding how to avoid mosquito bites can be found on the CDC website.

To prevent the spread of not only Zika, but also the Dengue and Chikungunya viruses,  control the mosquitoes.
The CDC website publishes the best and up to date information regarding where the virus is and how to protect while being on a vacation or visiting family. Also, see the CDC's pamphlet to keep travelers safe while abroad. 

A person with Zika infection may be unaware his/hers condition because he or she would not develop any symptoms. If they become symptomatic, the most frequent symptoms are rash, conjunctivitis, fever and joint pain. The illness usually lasts less than a week. It is important to seek medical advice in order to be diagnosed promptly. This is especially valid for pregnant women and those who traveled recently to areas with Zika outbreaks. More information for Zika signs, symptoms, treatment and diagnostic tests can be found here.

Infographic presenting several different methods of protection from mosquito bites and prevention of Zika infection. Information regarding the registered insect-repellents by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

How can parents protect their children from Zika?