Zika virus (Zika) is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites, causing an illness that is usually mild and can last from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes, though many people infected with Zika do not have symptoms. There is currently no vaccine to prevent the disease.
Travelers to affected areas are advised to understand the risks and preventative measures before traveling. Pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika outbreaks.
- CDC – State and Local Health Department Planning/Preparedness
- CDC Zika Virus Disease page
- Health & Human Services Zika Virus Information Resources
- Strategy for Enhancing National Capacity to Respond to Zika virus Epidemic in the Americas
- EHS Communicable Disease Emergency Continuity of Operations Planning
- UNC School of Medicine Virology Seminar
- Orange County Health Watch
- CDC: Zika Interim Response Plan (May 2017)
- CDC: Zika Communication fact sheets
- World Health Organization Fact Sheet on Zika
- Zika virus FAQ
- Q&A: Zika virus disease (WHO)
- Q&A: Zika and pregnancy (CDC)
- Facts about microcephaly from the CDC
- CDC: Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment
- CDC: Prevention for Zika virus
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Zika resources
- UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Zika Virus Basics
To date, 48 countries and territories in the Americas have confirmed autochthonous, vector-borne transmission of Zika virus disease, while five countries have reported sexually transmitted Zika cases.
Blossom Damania, Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and incoming Vice Dean of Research at the UNC School of Medicine, discusses Carolina’s role in Zika research.
The United Nations health agency made the decision after convening an panel of experts in Geneva amid reports from Brazil linking the virus to microcephaly, a birth defect of the brain in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.