Zika Virus

What is the Zika Virus?

Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes 
species mosquito.

  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people
     might not realize they have been infected.
  • Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects.
  • Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections..
  • Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent or treatment for Zika virus infection.

Where Is the Zika Virus Found?

There are no local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases reported in US states, but there have been travel-associated cases. There are 3,625 cases of travel-related Zika in the continental U.S (as of September 30, 2016). These imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the United States.

In State of Maryland we have  Travel-Associated Cases of Zika and NO Locally Acquired Cases (As of September 28, 2016). Visit the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Zika Virus Information page for state-wide guidance and information. of countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission can be found on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/geo/active-countries.

*** NEW*** CDC issues Zika special travel considerations for 11 Southeast Asian countries

On Thursday, September 29, 2016 CDC posted Zika virus-related special travel considerations for 11 Southeastern Asian countries. CDC now recommends that pregnant women should consider postponing nonessential travel to these countries because of the uncertain risk of Zika virus infection. CDC is issuing these special travel considerations so that travelers, especially pregnant women, can make informed decisions about their travel and their health.  The countries included in these considerations are Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), and Vietnam.

Zika Virus Prevention & Important Information

<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HRz04LPw3Ds" allowfullscreen="> </iframe> <ul> <li><span style=" font-size:=" rel=" rel="font-size: 13px;" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0">Zika infection during pregnancy is linked to &amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="/LinkClick.aspx?link=http%3a%2f%2fwww.cdc.gov%2fncbddd%2fbirthdefects%2fmicrocephaly.html&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;tabid=2311&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;portalid=0&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;mid=8278" title="Zika birth defects microcephaly"&amp;amp;amp;gt;birth defects&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt;. If you are pregnant, delay travel to areas with Zika.&amp;amp;amp;lt;/span&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/li&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;li&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;span style="font-size: 13px;" rel="font-size: 13px;"&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="/LinkClick.aspx?link=%2fDepartments%2fHealth%2fZika%2fZika-For-Pregnant-Women&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;tabid=2311&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;portalid=0&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;mid=8278" title="Zika virus sexual transmission"&amp;amp;amp;gt;Zika virus can be transmitted sexually.&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt; Pregnant women &amp;amp;amp;lt;strong&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;em&amp;amp;amp;gt;should not have&amp;amp;amp;lt;/em&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/strong&amp;amp;amp;gt; unprotected sex with men who have been to a Zika virus infected area. 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People don't get sick enough to see a doctor and very rarely die from it!&amp;amp;amp;lt;/span&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/li&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;li&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;span style="font-size: 13px;" rel="font-size: 13px;"&amp;amp;amp;gt;See a healthcare provider if you develop a fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes during a trip or within two weeks after traveling to a place with Zika, or if you have had sexual contact with someone who has traveled&amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/span&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/li&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;li&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;span style="font-size: 13px;" rel="font-size: 13px;"&amp;amp;amp;gt;Avoid mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and &amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="/LinkClick.aspx?link=https%3a%2f%2fwww.epa.gov%2finsect-repellents%2ffind-insect-repellent-right-you&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;tabid=2311&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;portalid=0&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;mid=8278" title="EPA Insect repellant information page"&amp;amp;amp;gt;applying insect repellant&amp;amp;amp;lt;img src="/portals/0/Images/Health/Pictures/HC Zika Prevention Poster (Vertical)-FINAL-6-9-2016 copy.jpg?ver=2016-06-24-130028-223" alt="HC Zika Prevention Poster (Vertical)-FINAL-6-9-2016 copy" title="HC Zika Prevention Poster (Vertical)-FINAL-6-9-2016 copy" rel="max-width: 100%; float: right; padding: 7px;" style="max-width: 100%; float: right; padding: 7px;"&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/span&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;ul&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;li&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;span style="font-size: 13px;" rel="font-size: 13px;"&amp;amp;amp;gt;These mosquitoes bite during the day, so long sleeves and pants are needed at all times&amp;amp;amp;lt;/span&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/li&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;/ul&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;ul&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;li&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;span style="font-size: 13px;" rel="font-size: 13px;"&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/control_mosquitoes_chikv_denv_zika.pdf"&amp;amp;amp;gt;Protect your home from mosquitoes &amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt;by eliminating standing water (no matter how little), discarding potential water containers, fixing or installing window and door screens and using air conditioning (if possible)&amp;amp;amp;lt;/span&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/li&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;/ul&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;/li&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;li&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;span style="font-size: 13px;" rel="font-size: 13px;"&amp;amp;amp;gt;The best way to prevent Zika is to &amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="/LinkClick.aspx?link=http%3a%2f%2fwww.cdc.gov%2fzika%2fprevention%2findex.html&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;tabid=2311&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;portalid=0&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;mid=8278" title="Prevent mosquito bites"&amp;amp;amp;gt;prevent mosquito bites&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt;.&amp;amp;amp;lt;/span&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/li&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;/ul&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;p style="margin-left: 40px;"&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;style type="text/css" id="telerik-reTable-1"&amp;amp;amp;gt; .telerik-reTable-1 { border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-collapse: collapse; font-family: Tahoma; } .telerik-reTable-1 tr.telerik-reTableHeaderRow-1 { margin: 10px; padding: 10px; color: #3F4D6B; 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&amp;amp;amp;lt;span style="font-size: 10px;" rel="font-size: 10px;"&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;em&amp;amp;amp;gt;(Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)&amp;amp;amp;lt;/em&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/span&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;br&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;gt;
Preventing Mosquito Bites

To Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

To Protect Your Child from Mosquito Bites

  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
  • Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.

Treat Your Clothing and Gear

  • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
  • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.
  • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
  • Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.

(Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Protecting Others from Getting Sick

Even if they do not feel sick, travelers returning to the United States from an area with Zika should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks so they do not spread Zika to mosquitoes that could spread the virus to other people.

  • During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.
  • To help prevent others from getting sick, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the first week of illness.
  • Zika virus can be spread during sex by a man infected with Zika to his sex partners.
  • We do not know how long the virus can stay in the semen of men who have had Zika, and how long the virus can be spread through sex.
  • We do know that the virus can stay in semen longer than in blood.
  • To help prevent spreading Zika from sex, you can use condoms, correctly from start to finish, every time you have sex. This includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Not having sex is the only way to be sure that someone does not get sexually transmitted Zika virus.
(Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Speaks on the Floor of the Senate About Funding for Zika Prevention.
Howard County Health Department Prevention Efforts Are Mentioned!

CSPAN2 - U.S. Cable
US Senate 

CSPAN2 4/28/2016 12:28:58 PM: ...this is not unknown nor is it unmanageable. it will be a national disgrace if we don't act. now in my own home state, i have a republican governor, governor larry hogan. and guess what? governor hogan is acting. this isn't about democrats or republicans. governor hogan acted. he declared april 24 through the 30th zika awareness week and he's ordered his health department to coordinate educational events with local health departments. they also spent $130,000 of state money to develop 10,000 transmission kits to begin to deal with this. my republican governor has taken action. then also in anne arundel county, the county that's the home of the state capital, again, headed up by a republican county executive, they received 850 kits. they're going to have town hall meetings to talk about health and agricultural -- with agricultural officials on prevention in mosquito control. republican governor, republican county executive acting. then there's a county called howard county where the health department is planning to distribute 450 kits to obstetric and gynecological practices to protect pregnant women. again, a republican county executive working with his administration is taking action, spending local money when this is a national problem. so i'm saying this because my own governor is acting, these county executives and men in baltimore city with a democratic mayor. she listened to the warnings coming from the world health organization, the c.d.c. and the bloomberg school of public health in baltimore and has again taken action where baltimore is now spraying and taking mosquito control efforts and so on, spending over $500,000 of local money for which we don't have a lot. so hello, maryland is acting. we need to act. so i say this because we're spending local money to deal with the national and ...

Visit C-Span's page about Zika funding to hear the speach.

(Courtesy TV Eyes Media 2016)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Zika Microsite