Zika virus is spread to people mainly through mosquito bites. It can also be spread during sex and from mothers to unborn babies. Babies infected before birth are at risk for birth defects, including microcephaly.
Not everyone gets symptoms from Zika infection. When present, they may include fever, rash, joint pain, and pink eye. Healthy people usually recover easily.
Preventing exposure to Zika virus is very important because there is no vaccine and no treatment at this time. The CDC recommends pregnant women avoid travel to areas where Zika virus infections are occurring. For CDC's travel notices, click here.
If travel is unavoidable, pregnant woman and those trying to become pregnant should avoid mosquito bites, being aware mosquitos that carry Zika, bite at all times of the day.
Avoiding mosquito bites
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Use U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)–registered insect repellents.
- When used as directed, repellents containing DEET, picardin, and IR3535 are safe for pregnant women.
- Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
- Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.
Sexual Transmission of Zika
Men Can Pass Zika to Sex Partners
- Condoms can reduce the chance of getting Zika from sex if used correctly from start to finish, every time during vaginal, anal or oral sex.
- Not having sex can eliminate your risk of getting Zika from sex.
Zika and Pregnancy
Where to call with questions
If families would like to speak to someone about a possible Zika virus diagnosis during pregnancy and risk to the baby, please contact MotherToBaby. Check out their most recent press release.
MotherToBaby experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone, text or chat:
- Call 1-866-626-6847
- Text questions to 855-999-3525 (standard text messaging rates may apply)
- Chat live or send an email through their website.
For Travelers or Sex Partners of Travelers
Click here to learn how to get tested for Zika virus in Ontario County. Call 585-396-4343 and ask for the Communicable Disease Coordinator to discuss further. Esta Embarazada? Lea esto antes de viajar.
CDC Resources Information for the public.
Information in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Creole, Korean.
New York State Resources Information for the public.
For Healthcare Providers
NY State Guidance
US Zika Pregnancy Registry
Zika and the Risk of Microcephaly, NEJM
Posters for Offices and Waiting Rooms
Mosquito Travel Advisory
Pregnant Women and Travel
Zika Virus Testing Fact Sheet
Guidance from the NYSDOH and CDC
Zika Virus Testing Process 2/9/16
How to send a patient for testing
What Clinicians Need to Know 2/1/16
Interim Guidance for Pregnant Women 1/20/16
Zika Virus 1/16/16
Further guidelines for using insect repellents, click here.
More information about Zika Virus is available on the CDC website.
Page updated 6/8/16