Zika is a virus
that a person can get from being bitten by an infected mosquito. It also can be spread by sexual contact. The virus is of particular concern
for pregnant women and women who may become pregnant.
More to Know
Zika virus causes a serious birth defect called microcephaly, a rare condition in which a
child's brain doesn't fully develop, resulting in an abnormally small head. It also has been linked to other serious problems in fetuses, such as
eye defects, impaired growth, and other brain problems.
The virus is a particular threat in Latin America,
the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands. Zika-spreading mosquitoes also
have been found in the United States (Florida and
Puerto Rico), and some people in the United States have Zika infections.
Often, Zika causes no symptoms. When it does, symptoms are mild and can include
fever, rash, joint pain, and pinkeye.
Keep in Mind
If you're pregnant or trying to become pregnant, experts say you should postpone
travel to countries where Zika virus has been found. If you do visit these countries,
it's very important to try to avoid mosquito bites by covering up and using insect
repellents. It's best to use condoms during sex when visiting countries where Zika
is active, and to postpone pregnancy after the visit, especially if you or your partner
might have become infected with Zika. If you're living in an area where Zika is active,
talk to your doctor about pregnancy planning. There is no vaccine or treatment for
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