Zika virus is a disease spread
primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, specifically, Aedes species
mosquito. These are the same mosquitoes
that spread other viruses such as dengue and chikungunya.
The most common symptoms of Zika are
fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms
lasting several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to
the hospital, and death is rare. There
is no vaccine to prevent or specific medicine to treat Zika virus.
During pregnancy, Zika virus can cause a
serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain
defects, and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Though Zika is primarily a mosquito-borne
virus, it can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. It can also be spread through sex. If individuals have traveled to Zika-infected
areas and suspect they have become infected with the virus, it is recommended
that they use safe-sex practices and notify their healthcare provider for
If you wish to view case-counts in Texas for 2018 and for previous years, click here.
Learn more about Zika from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.