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Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control District

1966 Compton Avenue, Corona, CA  92881

Telephone: 951-340-9792 Fax: 951-340-2515

Website: www.northwestmvcd.org


Zika Fact Sheet


What is Zika?

Zika is an infectious disease caused by the Zika virus, which is transmitted to people by Aedes

mosquitoes. Symptoms of Zika typically include fever, rash, joint pain, and/or red eyes.


Where does Zika occur?

Zika occurs in many tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world, particularly in Africa, Southeast Asia, and islands in the Pacific Ocean. Recent outbreaks have occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean.


How do people get Zika?

Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (also known as yellow fever mosquitoes) and by Aedes albopictus mosquitoes (also known as Asian tiger mosquitoes). These mosquitoes are not native to California. However, since 2011 they have been detected in several California counties. An Aedes mosquito can only transmit Zika virus after it bites a person who has this virus in their blood. Thus far in California, Zika virus infections have been documented only in a few people who were infected while travelling outside the United States. A person with Zika is not contagious. Zika is not spread through casual contact such as touching or kissing a person with the virus, or by breathing in the virus.  However, according to the CDC, two cases of sexually transmitted Zika virus may have occurred.  Caution should be exercised to avoid Zika. 


Is the Aedes aegypti mosquito present in Riverside County?

Yes, the Aedes aegypti mosquito has been recently found in Riverside County in an extremely small area.  The Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control District is working hard to control the spread of this invasive mosquito. 


What are the symptoms of Zika?

Most people infected with Zika virus have no symptoms. If symptoms develop, the most common are fever, rash, joint pain, and/or red eyes. Symptoms usually begin 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and last several days to a week. There are other causes of fever and painful joints. Your healthcare provider can order different tests to help determine the cause.


Whats the relationship between Zika virus and microcephaly in newborns?

There is a possible association between Zika and microcephaly (abnormally small head) in newborns. It is suspected that pregnant women who contract Zika virus through the bite of an infected mosquito are at risk of the fetal birth defect. However, there are many causes of microcephaly in babies, and whether Zika virus infection causes fetal microcephaly has not been confirmed. Studies are needed to understand this possible relationship.


Until more is known, and out of an abundance of caution, the California Department of Public Health recommends special travel precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant:

Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who must travel to one of these areas should talk to their healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.

Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.

Pregnant women who traveled to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission during pregnancy should be evaluated for Zika virus infection if they had any symptoms

suggestive of Zika or if their baby has evidence of microcephaly. Other mosquito-borne virus infections, such as dengue and chikungunya, should be ruled out in these patients.




Whats the relationship between Zika virus and Guillain-Barré Syndrome?

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare autoimmune disease affecting the nervous system leading to muscle weakness. Cases of GBS were reported among some persons with Zika in the French Polynesia Zika outbreak in 2013-2014, and an increase of GBS cases has recently been noted in Brazil and El Salvador where Zika outbreaks are ongoing. Whether Zika virus infection causes GBS is still not clear and awaits additional studies.


Is there a vaccine for Zika?

No, there is currently no vaccine for Zika. 


How is Zika treated?

There is no specific treatment for Zika. Talk with your health care provider about medications to help reduce fever and pain; rest and fluids are also helpful. Most people will feel better in about a week.


What can people do to keep from getting Zika?

In areas where Zika is present, everyone, including pregnant women and women of childbearing age, should protect themselves from mosquito bites.  

Mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus should be applied to exposed skin and clothing.

Using insect repellent is safe and effective. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding can and should choose an EPA-registered insect repellent and use

it according to the product label.

When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a

mosquito bed net.


What can people do to help prevent Zika from becoming established in California?

If you are sick with fever and joint pain after returning from an area where Zika occurs, contact your healthcare provider and avoid mosquito bites to help prevent possible spread of the virus.

To reduce mosquito breeding, check your yard often for water-filled containers. Clean and scrub bird baths and pet-watering dishes weekly and dump the water from overflow dishes under potted plants and flower pots. Check that gutters are not holding water.

Contact the Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control District if you detect unusual numbers of mosquitoes or you are being bitten during the day.  We can be reached at (951)340-9792 or through our website at www.northwestmvcd.org


Where can I find more information about Zika? U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html


Contact the Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control District at 951-340-9792 to speak with Bill Van Dyke or visit our website at www.northwestmvcd.org.