Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get Zika virus?
Zika virus is spread through the following means:
- Bite of infected Aedes mosquito.
- Sex with an infected person.
- Pregnant woman to fetus.
- Reports of blood transfusion transmission cases are being investigated.
Where is Zika present?
- Currently, the virus is present in South American countries including Brazil, where the first confirmed case was reported in 2015.
- In the United States, the virus has been locally acquired in Florida. Other cases around the country are associated with travel and sex.
- In Michigan, cases are associated with travel.
- Among U.S. territories, Zika is present in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.
- Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control for an updated list.
What are the symptoms of Zika virus?
- Joint pain
- Red eyes
- The majority of those infected may not feel sick or realize they are infected.
What treatment options are available for Zika virus?
- Medication to reduce fever and pain
- Do not take aspirin or NSAIDS until dengue is ruled out.
- Review medications being taken for other medical conditions.
What are complications of Zika virus?
- Microcephaly, a birth defect, can occur in the fetus of infected pregnant females.
- Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in infected individuals.
- Other neurological problems including brain abnormalities in unborn babies.
Can I die from Zika virus?
Deaths due to Zika virus is rare among all ages.
Can I get Zika virus more than once?
Once infected, you are likely to be protected from future infections.
Is there a vaccine for Zika virus?
Currently there is no vaccine available.
Travel and Prevention
What should I do if traveling to Zika-affected areas?
If you are pregnant, do not to travel to countries where Zika virus is reported. For others, follow these recommendations:
- Use insect repellent on exposed skin to prevent mosquito and other bug bites.
- Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Use mosquito nets while sleeping.
Get recommended vaccines, including:
- Hepatitis A and B
How is Zika virus spread?
- From the bite of infected mosquitoes.
- A pregnant female who is infected can pass the virus to her fetus.
- Sexual contact, including vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex or other activities that might expose a sex partner to genital secretions. The Zika virus is present in semen longer than in blood.
Can I get Zika from kissing?
Zika virus has been found in the saliva. Saliva transmission is currently being investigated.
When should I get tested to identify sexual transmission?
- If you may have been exposed through sex and have symptoms.
- If you are pregnant and were possibly exposed through sexual contact.
Is the mosquito carrying Zika virus present in Michigan?
The Aedes mosquito that carries Zika virus is not found in Michigan.
Do I need to wait to get pregnant after traveling to a country with Zika virus?
- If you are travelling, pregnancy plans should delayed up to two months if there are no symptoms in the male.
- If male partner has symptoms after travel, wait six months before trying to get pregnant.
Updated: Aug. 31, 2016