A mosquito-borne illness called Zika Virus is causing concerns primarily in the country of Brazil where it has been linked to a rise in a phenomenon called microcephaly. No locally transmitted Zika cases have been reported in the continental United States, but cases have been reported in returning travelers in Puerto Rico, Illinois, Texas, and Florida. One case of microcephaly has been linked to Zika and reported in Hawaii. There is no vaccine for Zika and therefore, prevention of mosquito bites is paramount.
Zika virus is transmitted to people from the bite of an Aedes aegypti, or Aedes albopictus mosquito. The Zika virus, unlike other mosquito-borne viruses such as Dengue or malaria, is newer and less studied. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas.