Skip to main content

Zika virus

What is Zika virus?

Zika is transmitted to humans primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito. While both of these invasive mosquitoes have been found in several areas throughout California, they have not been detected in Marin and Sonoma counties. 

How do people get Zika virus?


The greatest risk from Zika is to a pregnant woman's baby.

If a pregnant woman gets Zika, either by being bitten by an infected mosquito or by having unprotected sex, she can pass the virus to her developing baby, which can cause certain birth defects. Currently, there is no specific medicine or vaccine for Zika.

What are the symptoms of Zika virus?

Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Muscle pain

How long do symptoms last?

Zika is usually mild with symptoms lasting 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. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. Symptoms of Zika are similar to other viruses spread through mosquito bites, like dengue and chikungunya.

If you think you have Zika

If you have recently been to an area with Zika and have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor, especially if you are pregnant.

Always check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travelers' Health website for information regarding mosquito-borne disease transmission when planning a trip.

Join our mailing list