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Zika virus

  • What is Zika virus?

    People get the Zika virus through mosquito bites. The illness usually is mild, with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. The most common symptoms are:

    • fever
    • rash
    • joint pain
    • pink eye or red eyes

    Where are Zika virus outbreaks?

    Zika virus outbreaks typically occur in tropical areas.

    Zika virus came to the Western Hemisphere in 2015, with the first case reported in Brazil.

    So far, no one has gotten Zika virus from mosquitos in the continental United States. The only confirmed cases have been in travelers who have returned from Zika-affected areas.

    For a list of countries with Zika virus outbreaks, go to

    Travel alert

    If you are traveling to countries affected by the Zika virus, take these precautions:

    • Postpone travel or go somewhere else, if you are pregnant. The current outbreak in Brazil may have caused an increase in babies born with microcephaly or other birth defects.
    • Consult your health care provider before traveling and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip. This especially applies to women who are or might be pregnant.
    • See your health care provider if you get a fever, rash, joint pain or pink eye within two weeks of your return. Be sure to mention where you traveled.

    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC Health Alert Network, Minnesota Department of Health
    Reviewed by: Heidi Gallart, infection prevention program manager, Allina Health
    First published: 01/29/2016
    Last reviewed: 02/01/2016