Zika Virus

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus that is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Zika virus can cause microcephaly, a serious birth defect in babies, and other severe fetal brain defects. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.

How Zika Spreads

  • Mosquito bites
  • From a pregnant woman to her fetus
  • Through sex from a person with Zika
  • Blood transfusion (likely)

Protect Yourself and Others

  • Use insect repellents that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Wear long-sleeved pants. Treat your clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items.
  • Use moquito netting on beds, baby carriers, strollers, or cribs when necessary and as appropriate.
  • Use screens on windows and doors. Empty standing water from containers outdoors.
  • Use mosquito larvicides and adulticides when necessary, and only as directed.
  • Use condoms consistently and correctly or abstain from sex to reduce the risk for sexual transmission of Zika after possible exposure.

Zika Virus in Pregnancy

The CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant.

  • If you are pregnant, do not travel to areas with Zika.
  • If you are thinking about having a baby in the future, consider avoiding nonessential travel to areas with Zika.
  • If you must travel, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider first and take steps to protect yourself before and after travel.
  • If your sex partner travels to an area with Zika, protect yourself from getting Zika during sex.

Travel or Health Questions?

Contact a health care provider if you feel sick after returning from your trip, or have questions about traveling.

Stony Brook University

Student Health Services

(631) 632-6740

Stony Brook Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Travel Medicine and Adult Vaccination Program


Get the latest information and advisories from the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

Click here to download the Zika Virus Safety Notice