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Zika is a virus that is thought to spread to people through mosquito bites. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to one week. About 1 in 5 people with Zika virus infection develop symptoms. People usually do not become sick enough to go to the hospital, and the virus is rarely fatal.

Zika has been found in Brazil, Mexico, several countries in Central and South America and several islands in the Caribbean including Puerto Rico, and some cases were recently found in the United States. As of February 2016, there had been 52 travel associated Zika virus disease cases reported. No locally acquired cases reported.

If you are traveling to the noted countries listed above please take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

Zika virus does not spread from casual contact with others.

Symptoms include:

  • fever (higher that 101.5 F)
  • rash
  • joint pain
  • conjunctivitis(red eyes)
  • muscle pain
  • headache

There is currently no vaccine to protect, or specific medicine to treat, Zika infections.

Treatment of the symptoms of Zika:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Take medication such as acetaminophen(Tylenol) to relieve fever and pain
  • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Persons, who are concerned about their symptoms, should contact their health care provider. If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.


After You Return From Your Trip ...

zikaIf you are not feeling well after your trip, see a doctor and mention that you traveled recently. If you have traveled to an area with Zika risk, take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks after your trip. Even if you don't feel sick upon returning, take precautions so that you don't spread Zika to uninfected mosquitoes that can spread the virus to other people. Learn more about CDC's Zika travel notices

Subject: Zika Message in case your Students and Their Families are Traveling

We at the Alameda County Public Health Department are sending out reminders that

if people are traveling to Mexico, Latin America,  South America, or other areas with Zika travel advisories, it is very important to:

  • Use insect repellent.  Remember to apply sunscreen first and then insect repellent.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants, when possible.
  • Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.
  • Use a bed net, as needed
  • Use condoms if you have sex. 

And then, when families return from travel:

  • Continue using insect repellent for 3 weeks to prevent spreading Zika back home.
  • Women: Wait at least 8 weeks before having unprotected sex or to attempt conception.
  • Men: Wait at least 6 months before having unprotected sex.
  • See your doctor right away if:

o   You have Zika symptoms

o   You think you are pregnant

Important Note about Pregnancy

Zika is linked to birth defects.  Pregnant women should not travel to any area with Zika.  If your partner travels to these areas, either use condoms or don’t have sex for the rest of your pregnancy.  If you are trying to become pregnant, talk to your doctor about your plans.

Alameda County Public Health Department