What is Zika virus?
Zika virus is a disease spread by infected mosquitoes. Similar to WNV, many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. However, because Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people – especially pregnant women and their partners – traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. As of July 2016, there have been confirmed cases of local transmission of Zika virus in the southern portion of the continental United States.
How is Zika spread?
We are still learning about Zika, but we do know it is spread by:
- mosquito bites
- a pregnant woman already infected with Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth;
- sex with someone already infected with Zika
- blood transfusion
- laboratory exposure
Where is Zika virus found?
Zika in suburban Cook County
The types of mosquitoes that carry Zika do not thrive in suburban Cook County so at the present time, local transmission is considered unlikely. CCDPH is urging women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant (and their partners), to Fight the Bite Cook County and learn more about CDC’s recommendations to:
Zika in Illinois
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), tracks cases of Zika virus across the state using a robust surveillance system and has issued guidance to local health departments, hospitals, infectious disease physicians, and infections control preventionists. For the most current information about Zika cases in the state of Illinois, click here.
Zika in the U.S.
See below for the most up-to-date information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about Zika cases in the U.S.; areas with Zika; transmission and risks; prevention; symptoms, testing and treatment; mosquito control; as well as information for special groups such as pregnant women, health care providers, and laboratories.