Zika the Disease

Zika the Disease

Zika virus is an infection spread primarily through a mosquito bite from one of two species: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. A. aegypti is most likely to transmit Zika virus in the US, as this species can survive year-round in the warmer climates of states like Texas and Florida, has a greater affinity for biting humans, and has already been the main culprit in transmitting similar viruses, such as dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile virus.

Routes of Transmission

In addition to mosquito bites, Zika virus can be transmitted from an infected mother to her unborn child during pregnancy, through sexual contact, and via blood transfusion with infected blood. More information can be found on the Routes of Transmission page.


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Only 20-25% of people infected with Zika virus will show symptoms, and these symptoms will likely be mild. To learn more about when symptoms may appear, how long they will last, and what the most common symptoms may be, visit our Symptoms page.

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Diagnosis and Treatment

There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine for Zika virus. However, studies are underway to develop medical countermeasures against Zika. Go to the Diagnosis and Treatment page to learn about the current diagnostic methods that are being used and the treatment options available.

 zika disease treatment

Additional Resources

IEM Zika Perspective

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CBS’s 60 Minutes Features
the Fight Against Zika

On CBS’s 60 Minutes the country’s top scientists talk about the fight against Zika and the U.S. government’s efforts to control it.  IEM scientist, Dr. Jenn Kruk, comments on the lack of attention and general dismissal the virus gets from the majority of people who aren’t directly impacted. Read more.

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Dr. Rashid Chotani answers the question "Why is Zika spreading so rapidly, and why now?" in blog post in the Zika series, "Is Zika Here to Stay?" Read now.

 Additional Zika Perspectives

Zika Classified as an STD: What You Need to Know (November 2, 2016)

Hurricane Matthew’s Potential Impact on the Spread of Zika (October 19, 2016)

Zika: Protecting Yourself Protects Those Around You (October 7, 2016)

All Mosquitos Are Not The Same When It Comes To Zika (Sept 23, 2016)

Zika and the Brain: A Public Health Game Changer (Sept 16, 2016)

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IEM is providing this website for informational purposes only.  Information regarding Zika is evolving rapidly.  Accordingly, you should not use this website as a substitute for professional advice provided by a qualified healthcare provider. IEM encourages you to consult with a physician if you have specific questions about the Zika virus or its potential effect on you.