Zika virus disease is a mosquito-borne infection that is related to dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. It was first discovered in Uganda in 1947 and is common in Africa and Asia but did not begin spreading to South and Central America until 2015. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects. Zika virus is not present in mosquitoes in New Hampshire, nor other states in the United States, though there have been cases of the disease in the U.S. in people who traveled to countries or territories where the virus is being transmitted and in individuals whose sex partner traveled to a Zika-affected area.
Approximately 80% of people who are infected with the Zika virus do not develop symptoms. In those who do become ill, the disease is usually mild and lasts from several days to a week. The symptoms of Zika virus infection include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
In January 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory for people planning to visit countries where Zika virus is being transmitted by mosquitoes. Pregnant women, especially, should consider postponing travel to any affected areas. Men who have lived in or traveled to regions where Zika virus is being transmitted by mosquitoes and who have a pregnant sex partner should abstain from sex or consistently and correctly use condoms during the partner’s pregnancy. Anyone planning to travel should talk to their healthcare provider or visit a travel medicine clinic prior to any travel.
Documents & Information
- Zika Frequently Asked Questions
- Zika Virus Fact Sheet
- Countries with active Zika transmission
- Infographic on Pregnant Women and Travel
- Zika and Sexual Transmission
- U.S. HHS video on Zika Prevention Tips
Health Alert Network
|03/30/2016||Zika Virus Outbreak: Update #3|
|03/01/2016||Zika Virus Outbreak: Update #2|
|02/05/2016||Zika Virus Transmission in the Americas: Update #1|
|01/20/2016||Zika Virus Transmission in the Americas|
|03/01/2016||First Case of Zika Virus Detected in New Hampshire|
|01/29/2016||Governor Hassan, State Officials Taking Preemptive Action Regarding the Zika Virus|
|04/01/2016||CDC Zika Action Plan Summit Webinar|
|02/11/2016||WMUR Health Headline: Zika Virus|
|02/10/2016||Zika Webinar with Dr. Elizabeth Talbot and Dr. Benjamin Chan|
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