Zika virus is spread to people primarily through mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that spread Zika can bite at day and night. Zika virus can also be spread during sex with a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners and from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy.
Many people infected with Zika won't have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites:
- Use EPA-registered insect repellent. If you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay in places with air conditioning or window and door screens.
- Remove standing water around your home.
Many people infected with Zika wont’ have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, headache, joint pain, red eyes, and muscle pain. Symptoms can last for several days to a week.
Zika virus can also spread
- During sex with a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners.
- From a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth.
Through blood transfusion.
Zika and Traveling
Mosquitoes spread many types of viruses and parasites that can cause disease like chikungunya, dengue, Zika, and malaria. If you are traveling to an area with active Zika cases, we encourage you to create a Zika Prevention Kit(ZPK). The products in a ZPK can help protect you from Zika.
- Zika Travel Tips (English) (Spanish)
- Zika, Pregnancy, & Travel Flyer (English) (Spanish)
- For Pregnant Women Who Traveled to an Area with Zika
Zika and Pregnancy
CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women to protect themselves from Zika virus infection.
Follow the links below to access specific information relating to Zika and pregnancy.
- Zika and Pregnancy Flyer (Bilingual)
- Thinking About Having a Baby?
- Zika - Pregnant? Read This Flyer (English) (Spanish)
- Zika - Protect Your Pregnancy (Bilingual)
- Zika Pregnancy Kit (Bilingual)
- Zika, Pregnancy, & Travel Flyer (English) (Spanish)
- A Positive Zika Test Flyer (Bilingual)
- Zika Prevention Kit for Pregnant Women
- For Pregnant Women: A Positive Zika Virus Test, What does it mean for me?
Zika During Pregnancy
Did you know that Zika is a virus that can cause serious problems during pregnancy. Zika infection during pregnancy causes a birth defect called microcephaly and other brain problems.
What to Know If...
- Your Baby May Have Been Affected by Zika
- If Your Doctor Suspects Microcephaly
- If your baby was born with Congenital Zika Syndrome
Zika and Breastfeeding
- Infant Feeding in Areas of Zika Virus Transmission - Executive Summary (World Health Organization)
- Infant feeding in areas of Zika virus transmission - Summary of rapid advice guideline
For Health Care Providers
Reporting Zika in the State of Texas
- Zika Case Definition (Sept. 2016)
- Zika Specimen Criteria (Sept. 2016)
- Diagnostic Testing and Case Reporting for Zika Virus (Oct. 2016)
- ZIKA in Texas for Healthcare Professionals (website)
Resources for Pregnant Women or Women Planning on Becoming Pregnant
- For Pregnant Women Who Traveled to an Area with Zika (Feb. 2019)
- For Pregnant Women Living in an Area with Zika (Feb. 2019)
- Zika Grand Rounds Facilitation Guide: Nurses (n.d.)
- Zika Grand Rounds Facilitation Guide: Pregnancy (n.d.)
Resources for Infants & Children
- Initial Evaluation and Outpatient Management (Aug. 2016)
- Evaluation and Testing of Infants with Possible Congenital Zika Virus Infection (Aug. 2016)
- Measuring Head Circumference (Sep. 2016)
- Hearing Test Algorithm (Oct. 2016)
Resources for Tribal Health Care
Collection, Testing, and Reporting Forms
- Collection and Submission of Fetal Tissues for Zika Virus Testing (Aug. 2016)
- Collection and Submission of Specimens for Zika Virus Testing at Time of Birth (Aug. 2016)
- Public Health Laboratory Zika RT-PCR Submission Form (Mar. 2017)
- Chikungunya, Dengue, and Zika Testing Supplemental Information (Sep. 2016)
- Chikungunya, Dengue, and Zika PCR and Serology Specimen Criteria (Feb. 2017)
- Toolkit for Communication - General Audience
- Click here to visit the CDC site
- Mosquito repellent is now available as a Medicaid benefit! (pamphlet)
- Recommendations for Donor Screening, Deferral, and Product Management to Reduce the Risk of Transfusion- Transmission of Zika Virus
- Interim Guidance for the Evaluation and Management of Infants with Possible Congenital Zika Virus Infection — United States, August 2016 (MMWR August 19, 2016)
- Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women with Possible Zika Virus Exposure - United States, July 2016 (MMWR, Jul. 25, 2016)
- Interim Guidance for Prevention of Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus - United States, July 2016(MMWR, Jul. 25, 2016)
- Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Caring for Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure – United States, 2016 (MMWR, Mar. 25, 2016)
- Update: Interim Guidance for Preconception Counseling and Prevention of Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus for Persons with Possible Zika Virus Exposure —United States, September 2016
- Interim Guidance for Protecting Workers from Occupational Exposure to Zika Virus
- Zika Virus Medical Assessment
National, State, & Local News Release
- Health Advisory Regarding Zika Case in Rio Grande Valley
- Texas Announces Local Zika Virus Case in Rio Grande Valley - News Release - November 28, 2016
- Click here for the CDC Health Advisory (Jan 2016)
- CDC Zika Virus Powerpoint for Clinicians (Aug. 2016)
Resources & Publications for Parents, Teachers, & Other Stakeholders
- Letter from Texas Department of State Health Services to School Superintendents
- Mosquito Prevention Flyer (Bilingual)
- Mosquito Prevention Flyer (Bilingual Black & White)
- Social Media Kit
- Prevent Bug Bites Poster (English)
- Zika in the Tropics Poster (English)
- Mosquito Safari Interactive Website
- Zika Virus English PSA 30 seconds; Watch on YouTube;
- Zika Virus English PSA 60 seconds; Watch on YouTube
- "Become a Tip and Toss Trooper" - Watch on YouTube
- Sesame Street: "Bug Repellent"; "Cover Up From Mosquitoes"
- Prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks had been identified in countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. (read more from the CDC)