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Zika Virus

mosquitoZika virus is spread to people through bites of Aedes mosquitoes. The symptoms of Zika virus infection are fever, rash, muscle and joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes) Symptoms are usually mild and can last from several days to a week.  The Aedes mosquito can also spread dengue and Chikungunya viruses.

Outbreaks of the Zika virus infection have occurred in countries in Central and South America, several islands in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and Pacific islands such as American Samoa. Click here to see affected regions and countries. In the United States, Zika cases have been reported in travelers returning from Zika-affected areas and there has been documented spread of the virus through sexual transmission as well.

If you are traveling to a Zika-affected area, you could be at risk for infection.  You should take steps to avoid mosquito bites when traveling.  Pregnant women planning to travel to affected areas should consult with their health care provider before traveling.

Take steps to avoid mosquito bites and if you think you may have Zika, contact your health care provider.  As mosquito season begins, individuals who have been infected from other areas may transmit the virus. Local mosquitoes have the potential to become carriers if they bite a person who has the virus.

As we enter mosquito season locally, everyone should protect themselves against mosquito bites and work to eliminate mosquito breeding sites in and around homes.  See more detailed information below about prevention steps and ways to reduce mosquito breeding sites.

For information on confirmed cases of Zika virus infection in Maryland, visit the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website.

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