Zika is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites, specifically the same mosquitoes that spread Chikungunya and dengue. Health officials say the best way to prevent Zika, as well as other mosquito-borne illnesses, is to avoid being bitten in the first place.
As of February, nine cases have been confirmed in Florida, with two of those cases in Hillsborough County. All of those cases involve a person who had left the United States, and then returned.
In February, health officials in Dallas confirmed that a case of the Zika virus had been acquired through sexual transmission, making it the first active transmission of the virus in the United States. A locally-transmitted case has been confirmed in Puerto Rico.
Officials say the primary concern is that a mosquito may bite an infected person, thus becoming infected itself, and then spread the virus that way.
The virus has a suspected link to birth defects in newborns, primarily microcephaly, where the newborn's head is smaller than expected.
ZIKA: SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT
About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika will get sick, and for many of those people, the symptoms are usually mild.
The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms usually begin two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
There is no vaccine or specific medicine to treat the virus. If you become ill, you should:
Get plenty of rest.
Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
Take medicine such as acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.
Note: Do not take aspirin or other NSAIDs.
Source: Centers for Disease Control
ZIKA: AROUND THE WORLD
Map shows locations of reported cases of Zika Virus in the United States and is updated as new reports are made available. Cases in blue were acquired abroad and detected once the traveler returned to the United States. Cases in red were acquired in the United States.
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