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Zika virus disease is usually a mild viral illness. The virus is in the same family as West Nile, Dengue, and yellow fever. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) also known as the Asian tiger mosquito. This species of mosquito currently circulates in the Southern part of North America, Central America, the Caribbean, the Northern parts of South America, and parts of Africa and Asia. The Asian tiger mosquito can also transmit dengue and chikungunya viruses. The Zika virus can be spread by mosquitoes, by sexual contact, and from mother to child while pregnant. If a pregnant woman contracts Zika, her baby is at risk of brain damage (microcephaly). Over the past year, over 3,500 cases of microcephaly with brain calcification have been reported in Brazil, when they normally see a few hundred. Although it is speculated these cases in Brazil are linked to Zika, only a few cases have been confirmed to be linked to Zika.


Zika Virus: An Emerging Infectious Disease


Practice Advisory: Updated Interim Guidance for Care of Obstetric Patients And Women Of Reproductive Age During a Zika Virus Outbreak


Zika home page

Questions and Answers for Healthcare Providers Caring for Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure

Update: Interim Guidelines for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure — United States, 2016. MMWR. February 12, 2016 / 65(05);122–127

Information for pregnant women about Zika

Zika Pregnancy Hotline

Thomas, DL, Sharp, TM, Torres,T; et al. Local Transmission of Zika Virus — Puerto Rico, November 23, 2015–January 28, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:154–8


Facts about Zika virus

Zika Questions and answers

Other publications

Goorhuisa, A, von Eijeb, KJ, Doumaa, RA, Rijnberga, N, et al. Zika virus and the risk of imported infection in returned travelers: Implications for clinical care. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease. In press, Available online 27 January 2016. doi:10.1016/j.tmaid.2016.01.008

Musso, D, Nilles, EJ, and Cao-Lormeau, V. Rapid spread of emerging Zika virus in the Pacific area. Clinical Microbiology and Infection. Volume 20, Issue 10, pages O595–O596, October 2014 DOI: 10.1111/1469-0691.12707

Foy BD, Kobylinski KC, Foy JLC, et al. Probable Non–Vector-borne Transmission of Zika Virus, Colorado, USA. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2011;17(5):880-882. doi:10.3201/eid1705.101939.


American College of Nurse-Midwives.
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