Zika Virus Information

What is Zika Virus?

PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH Updated Guidance for the Evaluation and Management of Pregnant Women and Infants with Possible Zika Virus Exposure

Prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infections in Brazil. Currently, outbreaks are occurring in many countries. Zika virus will continue to spread and it will be difficult to determine how and where the virus will spread over time. Currently, there are travel-associated cases throughout the United States including Pennsylvania. Delaware County Intercommunity Health continues to closely monitor the situation.

Zika virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito; it is neither airborne, foodborne, nor waterborne. Common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week; and about one in five people infected with Zika will get sick. Reports in Brazil mention cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome as well as microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant; however, additional studies are needed to clarify the relationship. 

There is no vaccine to prevent Zika and symptoms can be treated by getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. 

Out of an abundance of caution, CDC recommends that women who are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant should consider postponing travel to countries where the Zika virus is ongoing. Anyone traveling to these locations should be sure to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants, stay in places that use window and door screens, use EPA registered insect repellents, treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items, and sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites. 

More information on Zika Virus and the ongoing outbreak can be found at the CDC Zika Virus Page

Information of interest regarding Zika Virus and CDC travel warnings can be found at the following CDC website locations:

Information is also at the American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website: