Village of Villa Park News

Posted on: June 1, 2016

Understanding Zika Virus

Zika mosquito info

No local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in US states, but there have been travel-associated cases.

According to information on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, "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. However, 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."

Mosquitoes

According to the CDC, "Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (A. aegypti and A. albopictus). These are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.

"These mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases. They prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near people. Mosquitoes that spread ... Zika are aggressive daytime biters, but they can also bite at night."

Other means of transmission

Zika can also be transmitted through blood transfusion, sexual transmission, from an infected person to a mosquito and from an infected mother to her fetus.

Read more about how to prevent Aedes mosquitoes from breeding near your home in this handout from Clarke.

CDC Zika webpage
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