Zika Virus – What do you need to know?

The recent Zika Virus outbreak in parts of the Caribbean, Central American and South America is serious.  Your health and well-being are our top priorities.

What is the Zika Virus? The Zika virus is a disease carried by certain mosquitos.

  • The virus is most dangerous for the unborn children of pregnant women.  If pregnant women contract the virus, it may cause birth defects in her baby, including an abnormally small head.

How does the Zika virus spread? The Zika virus spreads to people maintly through bites from infected mosquitos.

  • A pregnant woman who has the virus can pass it to her unborn baby.
  • Although rare, cases of the Zika virus spreading through blood transfusion or sexual contact have also been reported.

What are the symptoms? Most people infected with the Zika virus don't have symptoms or know they're sick.  However, some people may show these symptoms for 3 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

  • Fever, skin rash, muscle and joint pain, red eyes.

What areas have been affected? The current outbreak is most active in southern Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Central America and South America.  However, this is changing quickly.  For the latest updates, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at: www.cdc.gov/zika.

 

TRAVEL ALERT! 
If you're pregnant (in any trimester) or planning to become pregnant:  The CDC recommends waiting to travel to any area affected by the Zika virus.

If you or your partner must travel to one of these areas:

  • Contact your doctor's office for advice before you go.
  • Avoid mosquito bites.  Use insect repellent on all exposed skin and wear long-sleeved shirts or pants.
  • Abstain from unprotected sex or use condoms.
  • When you return, please contact your doctor's office for the most current information.

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