Diseases and Conditions

Zika virus


The Zika (ZEE-kuh) virus is most often spread to people through mosquito bites, primarily in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Most people infected with the Zika virus have no signs and symptoms. Some people have mild fever, rash and muscle pain. In rare cases, the Zika virus may cause brain or nervous system complications, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, even in people who never show symptoms of infection. Infection with the Zika virus is also called Zika, Zika fever or Zika virus disease.

Women who are infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy have an increased risk of miscarriage. Zika virus infection during pregnancy also increases the risk of serious birth defects in infants, including a potentially fatal brain condition called microcephaly.

Researchers are working on a vaccine for the Zika virus. For now, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid mosquito bites and reduce mosquito habitats.