Zika Virus (Zika)

Zika Virus (Zika) is spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito or from sexual contact with an individual who is infected with Zika virus.

At-Risk Populations

Anyone can be infected with Zika virus; however pregnant women or women who are considering getting pregnant are of particular concern due to the link between Zika virus infection and poor pregnancy outcomes. MORE

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Zika virus are:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Symptoms typically appear within three to 14 days of infection. About one in five people infected with Zika virus become ill. Anyone who has traveled to an area with active, mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus and develops symptoms of Zika virus should contact their healthcare provider.

How It Spreads

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites or from sexual contact with an individual who is infected with Zika virus. The species of mosquito that carries Zika virus is not known to be established in Rhode Island at any time of the year. In Rhode Island, Zika virus is considered to be travel-acquired. This means that confirmed cases will be because that person contracted the virus in another area and then returned to Rhode Island. Check CDC's website for a regularly-updated list of affected areas.

Also note that as of June 15th, 2016 the community of Wynwood area north of Miami, Florida has experienced mosquito-related transmission to humans. (See the map detail) CDC is advising that pregnant women avoid travel to this area, as it is now affected by Zika.

Prevention

  • Pregnant women who have plans to travel to an area with active, mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus should avoid travel.
  • Men who travel to an affected area and have a pregnant sexual partner should use a condom during sex or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy.
  • Anyone who travels to an area with active, mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus should use an EPA-approved bug spray with at least 20% DEET to help prevent mosquito bites.

Testing & Diagnosis

The Rhode Island State Health Laboratories can perform the Trioplex rRT-PCR and Zika MAC-ELISA laboratory tests to diagnose Zika virus infection in patients approved for testing by the Department of Health Center for Acute Infectious Disease Epidemiology according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria.

Test Interpretation Factsheets

Per the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization, medical providers and patients are to be provided with factsheets for understanding this test.

Treatment

No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika virus infection.

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