What is Zika, and how does it spread?
Zika virus disease is caused by the Zika virus. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting up to a week, and many people do not have symptoms or will have only mild symptoms. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe brain defects.
The Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. A pregnant woman can pass Zika to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. Also, a person with Zika can pass it to his or her sex partners.
What are the symptoms of the Zika Virus?
Many people infected with Zika will have no symptoms or mild symptoms that last several days to a week. The follow is a common list of symptoms of Zika:
- Joint Pain
- Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
- Muscle Pains
A Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other server fetal brain defects. Some current research suggests that Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), as uncommon sickness of the nervous system, is strongly associated with Zika; however, only a small proportion of people with recent Zika virus infection get GBS.
For more information, visit the CDC page on Zika.