Zika virus disease (or Zika) is spread to people through mosquito bites of the Aedes mosquito. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are: fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Deaths from Zika have not been reported.
Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in areas of the Latin Americas, and tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, including the US, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infections in Brazil. In December 2015, Puerto Rico reported its first confirmed Zika virus case.
Locally transmitted Zika has not been reported in the US, but cases of Zika have been reported in returning travelers.
With the recent outbreaks in South America and the Pacific Islands, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the US will likely increase. These imported cases may result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the US.
Zika virus is a germ that is spread to people through mosquito bites. Zika virus is not currently found in California. However, cases of Zika have been reported in returning travelers from places where infection has occurred. It is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries. For complete, up-to-date information on where Zika virus has been found, visit the CDC Website.
- CMR Form for reporting disease
- Zika Testing Quicksheet ***NEW***
- California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Zika Fact Sheet - English
- California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Zika Fact Sheet - Spanish
For test request forms, please search for” VRDL Specimen Submittal Form” to access the current version of the form online. VRDL work flow requires completion of all the information online before printing the form to accompany the specimen.
Who is at risk of being infected?
Anyone who is living in or traveling to an area where Zika virus is found can be infected with the virus. For most people, Zika virus does not cause serious illness. The major reason we worry about Zika virus is that cases of microcephaly (small head and brain size) and other poor pregnancy outcomes have been reported in babies of mothers who had the virus while pregnant. More studies are planned to tell us about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.
How can Zika virus be prevented?
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. Travelers can avoid infection by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites.
Until more is known, and out of an abundance of caution, the California Department of Public Health recommends special travel precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant. Click links below for more information:
Recent News and Updates
- CDC Health Advisory 8/1/16
- CDC Health Update 6/21/16
- CDC Health Advisory 2/23/16
- CDC Emergency Partners Newsletter 2/12/16
- Zika Health Alerts for Yolo County Medical providers
- Update: Interim Guidance for Prevention of Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus 3/25/16
- Update: Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Caring for Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure 3/25/16
- Preventing Transmission of Zika Virus in Labor and Delivery Settings through Implementation of Standard Precautions US 2016
- CDPH Zika Virus Testing FAQs for Healthcare Providers July 5, 2016
- Health Advisory Zika Virus in Latin America - English
- Health Advisory Zika Virus in Latin America - Spanish
- Zika Questions & Answers - English
- Zika Questions & Answers - Spanish
- Mosquitoes Detection Sites in CA 2011-2015
- Mosquito control for Zika and other disease caused by mosquito bites - English
- Mosquito control for Zika and other disease caused by mosquito bites - Spanish
Resources & Advisory Flyers
- What happens when I am tested for Zika
- Only Some People need Zika Testing
- Pregnant Women who traveled to an area with Zika ****NEW****
- CDPH Zika and Pregnancy Info ****NEW****
- Pregnant? Zika and sex ****NEW**** (also available in Spanish)
- Pregnancy Flyer - English
- Pregnancy Flyer - Spanish
- Pregnant and living in an area with Zika Flyer
- What is an imported case? Flyer English
- What is an imported case? Flyer Spanish
- Mosquito Bite Prevention for Travelers - Flyer English
- Mosquito Bite Prevention for Travelers - Flyer Spanish
- Mosquito Bite Prevention (United States) - Flyer English
- Mosquito Bite Prevention (United States) - Flyer Spanish
- CDC responds to Zika - What We Know - Flyer English
- CDC responds to Zika - What We Know - Flyer Spanish
- Going to the American Tropics? Flyer