The Zika virus is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters. They can also bite at night. About 20 percent of people infected with Zika virus will become ill. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache.
While illness is usually mild and severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon, there is a possible link between Zika virus infection in pregnant women and subsequent birth defects. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. CDC is working with other public health officials to monitor Zika virus transmission and potential links between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
The best way to protect yourself and others from Zika virus is to take steps to prevent mosquito bites.
- Use insect repellent
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Control mosquitoes inside and outside your home
- Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs