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Zika Virus Disease (Zika): The Facts

Last updated: October 25, 2022

Aedes Aegypti and Albopictus Mosquitoes

The CDC webpage has Zika information for travelers to international destinations.

View the CDC’s World Map of Areas with Risk of Zika.

At this time, no local Zika transmission has been identified in Maryland; however, Zika virus has been detected in Maryland residents who traveled to areas where there is ongoing Zika transmission.

Zika virus disease is spread to people mostly through the bite of an infected yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which is common in Maryland, can also spread the virus. Both types of mosquitoes bite during the day and at night. There is a risk of Zika inadvertently being imported into Maryland and being transmitted by local mosquitoes.

A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. Zika virus can be spread by an infected man or woman to their sexual partners. Learn how to reduce your risks of getting Zika from sex. Zika may also be transmitted through blood transfusions.

No vaccine exists to prevent Zika. Individuals are encouraged to take measures to avoid mosquito bites. Read Tips to Avoid Mosquito Bites.

Zika testing should be initiated by an individual’s private health care provider.


Frequently Asked Questions About Zika Virus Disease

See Zika: What You Need to Know (PDF) Download and Print.  Also available in Spanish

What are the symptoms of infection?

Zika: What You Need to Know PDF

Most individuals infected with the Zika virus will not have any symptoms or signs of illness. People who do develop illness may have a fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.

See your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and develop a fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes within two weeks after traveling to a place where Zika has been reported. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider where you traveled.

Contact your healthcare provider If you suspect you may be infected with Zika, and take extra steps to prevent any mosquito bites for three weeks by staying indoors or wearing protective clothing and insect repellent. This will help prevent mosquitoes from biting you and spreading the virus to others in the community.

Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

More About Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment (CDC)

Who is most vulnerable to more serious effects?

Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe brain defects. Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits and impaired growth. CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women. Women who are pregnant should not travel to areas with Zika. If you must travel to one of these areas or if you live in an area with Zika, talk to your healthcare provider and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and to prevent sexual transmission. For more on Zika and Pregnancy, click here.

What can I do to reduce my risk?

Avoid areas with mosquitoes. When outdoors, wear long pants and long-sleeved clothing and spray arms and legs with an insect repellent. See repellent recommendations.

Eliminate any standing water around your home where mosquitoes may breed. Repair any damaged window screens.

Mosquito Habitats

For more information about Zika, visit the Maryland Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What agency provides community spraying?

Within its resource limits, the Maryland Department of Agriculture provides spraying and community mosquito control services. For more information about mosquito control and newly scheduled spraying activities, visit the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) website. Find answers to frequently asked questions about Zika virus and mosquito control. County residents interested in mosquito control services in their communities should call MDA at 410-841-5870. Also see Tips to Rid Your Community of Mosquito Breeding Sites.

How do I report complaints about standing water in my neighborhood?

To report complaints about standing or stagnant water, call the Anne Arundel County Department of Health at 410-222-7192 or Contact Us. Standing water complaints related to residential swimming pools and ponds are usually handled from May 1 through October 31.

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