Zika Virusenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/ZikaVirus__enHD1.jpgWith so much media coverage about Zika virus, it's natural to feel worried. The virus is of most concern for pregnant women and women who may become pregnant.zika, zika virus, mosquito, mosquitoes, deet, microcephaly08/05/201611/27/201709/02/2019Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD10/10/20163b1fd088-72d8-4e9d-a05e-b7e1fa760f44https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/zika-virus.html/<p>Because&nbsp;<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-zika.html/">Zika virus</a>&nbsp;is in the news a lot, you might worry about how it could affect you or your family. But a Zika infection usually won't cause problems in children and babies.&nbsp;The virus is of most concern for pregnant women and women who may become pregnant.</p> <h3>What Is Zika Virus?</h3> <p>Zika is a virus that a person can catch if bitten by an infected mosquito. First seen in Africa about 70 years ago, the virus recently has spread throughout the world, particularly in tropical areas where certain types of mosquitoes live.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em;">The main problem with Zika is its effect on unborn babies. In pregnant women, the virus can cause <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/miscarriage.html/">miscarriages</a>, stillborn babies, or babies with birth defects. One serious birth defect caused by Zika is </span><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-microcephaly.html/" style="font-size: 1em;">microcephaly</a><span style="font-size: 1em;">. In microcephaly (the medical word for small head), a baby's brain and skull don't grow properly, so the baby will have severe developmental and health problems.</span></p> <p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/5-zika.html/">Pregnant women</a>&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;and women who might become pregnant &mdash;&nbsp;shouldn't travel to places with Zika outbreaks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).</p> <p>Healthy children who get a Zika infection will not develop microcephaly. Only babies infected from Zika&nbsp;<em>before</em>&nbsp;they're born are at risk for problems with brain development.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12.16px;">Often, Zika causes no symptoms.&nbsp;When it does, symptoms are mild and can include fever, rash, joint pain, and pinkeye.</span></p> <h3>How It Spreads</h3> <p>The most common way a person can get Zika is from being bitten by an <em>Aedes aegypti</em> or <em>Aedes albopictus</em> mosquito that's infected with the virus. These&nbsp;mosquitoes live in places that have tropical or mild climates.</p> <p>The virus also can spread&nbsp;through unprotected sex. Due to concerns that it also can be passed through blood transfusions or organ transplants, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now recommends screening all blood donors in the United States for Zika virus.</p> <p>Because the Zika virus can pass from an infected mom-to-be to her unborn baby, it's important to take precautions if you're pregnant or think you might become pregnant. If you live in an area with Zika outbreaks, do your best to prevent mosquito bites, use condoms to prevent getting Zika through sex, and talk to your doctor.</p> <p>No Zika virus infections have been linked to breastfeeding. The CDC encourages mothers to keep breastfeeding, even if they've been infected with Zika. But as a precaution, breastfeeding women should still avoid possible exposure to the virus.</p> <p>Zika virus isn't as contagious as some other viruses. It doesn't spread from person to person through sneezes and coughs, as colds and the flu do. People can't get Zika from casual contact, like holding hands.</p> <h3>Where It Is</h3> <p>The CDC has confirmed Zika outbreaks in:</p> <ul> <li>The Caribbean</li> <li>Mexico</li> <li>Central America</li> <li>South America</li> <li>Pacific Islands</li> <li>Africa</li> <li>Asia</li> </ul> <p>Zika-spreading mosquitoes also have&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">been found in the United States (Florida and Puerto Rico), and some people in the United States have Zika infections. Check the </span><a href="http://cdc.gov/zika" onclick="window.open(this.href, 'windyWindow', 'width=800,height=600,status=no,scrollbars=yes,toolbar=no,resizable=yes,location=yes'); return false;" style="font-size: 1em;">CDC's website</a><span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;for the latest news.</span></p> <h3>Signs and Symptoms</h3> <p>Most people who are infected with Zika don't have any symptoms, so people often don't even know they have the virus.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em;">Zika symptoms, when present, are usually very mild. People might notice problems like these 2 to 14 days after being infected:</span></p> <ul> <li>fever</li> <li>rash</li> <li>joint pain in the hands and feet</li> <li>muscle pain</li> <li>red eyes without pus</li> <li>headache</li> </ul> <p>A very small number of Zika infection cases also develop <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/gbs.html/">Guillain-Barr&eacute; syndrome</a>, a neurological condition with extreme muscle weakness and paralysis.</p> <h3>Diagnosis</h3> <p>Doctors can check people for Zika by doing blood tests or urine (pee) tests.</p> <p>Pregnant women or women who might become pregnant should contact their doctor if they think they might have been exposed to Zika, even if they don't have symptoms.</p> <h3>Treatment</h3> <p>Most people with Zika infection get better in 2 to 7 days by resting at home and drinking lots of fluids. Give kids <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/acetaminophen.html/">acetaminophen</a> to help with fever and aches.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;"><strong>Never give aspirin</strong> to kids or teens, especially during viral illness, as such use has been linked to&nbsp;</span><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/reye.html/" style="font-size: 1em;">Reye syndrome</a><span style="font-size: 1em;">, a potentially life-threatening disease.</span></p> <p>Because some over-the-counter medicines contain aspirin, always read labels and check with your doctor before using them. Some aspirin-containing medicines use words other than aspirin (such as salicylate or acetylsalicylate), so avoid those, too.</p> <p>Antibiotics don't work on viral infections like <a>Zika.</a></p> <h3>Prevention</h3> <p>Currently, there is no vaccine for Zika virus. If you're pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, the best ways to protect yourself are to avoid mosquito bites and take precautions when having sex.</p> <p>To avoid mosquito bites if you live in or visit areas with Zika outbreaks<span style="font-size: 1em;">:</span></p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Cover up skin.</strong> Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Clothing that's been sprayed or treated with an insect repellent called permethrin offers added protection.</li> <li><strong>Stay indoors.</strong> Keep windows closed in homes that have air conditioning, or install window screens and make sure they have no holes.</li> <li><strong>Use <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/repellent.html/">insect repellent</a>.</strong> Choose an insect repellent that's 10% to 30% DEET (look for N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide on the label). Don't put on DEET more than once a day, and don't use it on babies younger than 2 months.<br /><br />Picaridin is another kind of mosquito repellent that the CDC says can be used. And oil of lemon eucalyptus is safe to use on kids 3 years and older.</li> <li><strong>Get rid of standing water.</strong> Drain containers of standing water (such as children's swimming pools, jars, flowerpots, or buckets) where mosquitoes can breed.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Couples trying to get pregnant</strong> who live in or visit places with Zika outbreaks should consider waiting to get pregnant. Because the virus may spread through sex, it's best if men use condoms.</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>If a woman gets a Zika infection or has traveled to a Zika-infected area, the couple should wait at least 8 weeks before trying to get pregnant.</li> <li>If a man gets a Zika infection or has traveled to a Zika-infected area, the couple should wait at least 6 months before trying to get pregnant.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Couples who are already pregnant</strong> shouldn't have sex during pregnancy or should always use a condom if either partner has been somewhere with a Zika outbreak.</p> <p>Even couples who are not pregnant or trying to become pregnant should use a condom during sex for at least 6 months after either of the partners has traveled to a Zika-infected area.</p> <h3>When to Call a Doctor</h3> <p>Women who are pregnant (or think they might be pregnant) should&nbsp;call their doctor if they've been in areas with Zika or have any signs of the virus.</p>El virus del ZikaCon todo lo que escucha en los medios de comunicación, es normal que le preocupe el virus del Zika. Pero el virus del Zika no causa problemas en la mayoría de los niños y los bebés.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/zika-virus-esp.html/a0d2c250-a6b2-422b-ac09-d263652b1333
5 Things to Know About Zika and PregnancyZika virus, spread by mosquitoes, is the cause of a serious birth defect. Here are 5 things to know about Zika and pregnancy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/5-zika.html/d8f48f6c-d73c-4457-ae8a-eb4322195c50
A to Z: MicrocephalyMicrocephaly is a rare condition in which a child's brain doesn't fully develop, resulting in an abnormally small head size.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-microcephaly.html/8bcf1193-74cb-410b-978e-453ddcff9a66
A to Z: Zika VirusZika is a virus that a person can get from being bitten by an infected mosquito. The virus is of particular concern for pregnant women and women who may become pregnant.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-zika.html/4babce57-1222-487a-9de2-82b11e2f300b
Are Insect Repellents With DEET Safe for Kids?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/repellent.html/f73d24dd-21c3-4b51-a1e4-778d2ea3c8c1
Dengue FeverYou're not at risk of this illness in the U.S., but if you live in or are traveling to a tropical country it's wise to take precautions against this virus.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dengue.html/2d7fd7a5-0b9c-4abe-b73a-2fe89a04026a
Guillain-Barré SyndromeGuillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare medical condition that affects the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Luckily, most people who get GBS recover.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/gbs.html/6dc387d0-8551-4c3e-90ad-89a74cbec04e
Hey! A Mosquito Bit Me!There are thousands of different kinds of mosquitoes in many different sizes and colors. Learn all about mosquitoes and how they bite you in this article.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/mosquito.html/1fc17e08-ebc2-41af-9402-b8ffc29fdae5
MalariaMalaria - a common infection in hot, tropical areas - is a leading cause of death worldwide. But if diagnosed early and treated, it can be cured.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/malaria.html/fc44144e-3892-42a5-9d12-873fe5ef3ff1
West Nile VirusThe threat of West Nile virus has made getting a mosquito bite a cause for concern. What is West Nile virus, and what can you do to prevent it?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/west-nile.html/444f736f-d5c1-4f56-9ce3-7e3068410278
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-infectiousDiseasekh:clinicalDesignation-obgynkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-infectiousDiseaseBacterial & Viral Infectionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/infections/bacterial-viral/401507d2-7822-44aa-8109-e54dc4c18e61