Los Angeles County West Vector & Vector-Borne Disease Control District


Zika Virus




What is Zika?

•  Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus).

•  The mosquitoes that can spread Zika are found throughout the United States, including Los Angeles County.

• Local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has not been reported in Los Angeles County.

How do people get infected with Zika?

•   Through mosquito bites
•   From a pregnant woman to her fetus
•   Through sex
•  Through blood transfusion (very likely but not confirmed)

What are the symptoms of Zika?

Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms.


Common symptoms of Zika:
•   Fever
•   Rash
•   Headache
•   Joint pain
•   Red eyes
  Muscle pain


Symptoms can last for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. Once a person has been infected with Zika, they are likely to be protected from future infection.

Why Zika is risky for some people

Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe brain defects. It is also linked to other problems, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and other birth defects. There have also been increased reports of Guillain-Barrι syndrome, an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, in areas affected by Zika.

Preventing Zika

• Avoid mosquito bites
•  Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.
• Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners. Condoms can reduce the chance of getting Zika from sex. Condoms include male and female condoms.
• No vaccine exists to prevent Zika

Where should I look to see the risk of acquiring Zika worldwide and in the United States?

Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for TRAVEL WARNINGS. Infected Zika travelers may not get sick, but can still spread the virus to local mosquitoes and then to other people. Visit CDC Travelers' Health

What should I do if I think a family member or pet might have a mosquito-borne disease?

Consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis.