Zika Virus Information
Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain severe birth defects.
Travelers are at risk of Zika in many countries, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel notices. If you are traveling to an area with active Zika virus transmission, take steps to avoid mosquito bites. The CDC recommends pregnant women avoid travel to these areas, if possible.
Symptoms and Spread
Symptoms of Zika virus disease include fever, rash, joint pain and red irritated eyes. Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms.
Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. These mosquitoes are not currently found in Michigan, but are common in more tropical areas. Zika can also be spread by the Aedes albopictus mosquito, which has been identified in Michigan. However, there has been no transmission of the virus in Michigan.
Zika can also be spread through sex, and from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
Testing is currently recommended for:
- Pregnant women with or without symptoms who frequently travel to an area with risk of Zika, or if your doctor sees Zika-associated abnormalities on an ultrasound or you deliver a baby with birth defects that may be related to Zika.
- Individuals with symptoms who have traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission within the last two weeks, or who have a sexual partner with possible Zika virus exposure.
Contact your health provider or visit a local hospital or urgent care to request testing.
Three travel-related cases of Zika were identified among Washtenaw residents in 2016. No cases have been reported in Washtenaw County since then (as of July 13, 2021).