Zika Virus

Jan 28, 2016

The Zika virus is a flavivirus (in the family of yellow fever, dengue fever) that is transmitted to humans via the bite of a Aedes mosquito (the same mosquito that transmits yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya). It is not contagious from person to person. The most common symptoms are fevers, myalgias (muscle pain), joint pain, conjunctivitis, and rash. Most people are asymptomatic or have a mild course. However, there have been reports of birth defects (specifically microcephaly) and poor outcomes in pregnant patients to the extent that the CDC has issued a travel warning to areas/countries affected (see CDC.gov/zika for further guidance). There is no cure for the virus and treatment is supportive (i.e. fluids and rest and anti-inflammatory medications). For more information, feel free to call the Physicians East Department of Infectious Disease.