The Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection related to dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. While it is common in Africa and Asia, it recently spread to the Western Hemisphere.
The concern comes for pregnant women who develop a temporary form of paralysis after exposure to the Zika virus. This temporary paralysis can result in babies being born with abnormally small heads, a neurological condition known as microcephaly. Below are guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites.
- Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.
- Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners. Condoms can reduce the chance of getting Zika from sex. Condoms include male and female condoms.
- No vaccine is currently available.
- In 2018, no local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in the continental United States.
- The mosquitoes that can spread Zika are found throughout the United States.