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Dr. Susan Lasker
Founders Hall - Ground Floor

Phone: (973) 290-4175

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Health Services - Zika Disease Information

The Basics of the Virus and How to Protect Against It*

About Zika

Zika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). Zika can also be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners and it can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus. People can protect themselves from mosquito bites and getting Zika through sex. This fact sheet explains who's most affected and why, symptoms and treatment, and how to protect against Zika.


Current Zika Outbreak

Zika outbreaks are currently happening in many countries and territories. The mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika live in many parts of the world, including parts of the United States.

Specific areas where Zika virus is spreading are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time. If traveling, please visit the CDC Travelers' Health website for the most recent travel information.


How Zika Spreads

Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites all day and night, whether you are inside or outside. A mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person already infected with Zika. That mosquito can then spread the virus by biting more people.

Zika virus can also spread:


Zika Symptoms

Many people infected with Zika won't have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes. Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. Symptoms can last 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. Once a person has been infected with Zika, they are likely to be protected from future infections.


Why Zika is Risky for Some People

Zika infection during pregnancy can cause fetuses to have a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly. Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth. There have also been increased reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome, an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, in areas affected by Zika.


How to Prevent Zika

There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. Here's how:


What to Do if You Have Zika

There is no specific medicine to treat Zika. Treat the symptoms:

To help prevent others from getting sick, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the first week of illness.

* – All Zika information above provided by the CDC.


For additional information:
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Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.

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