Zika Virus

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  • Zika virus is spread through mosquitoes, particularly Aedes species mosquitoes. It can also be spread mother-to-baby during pregnancy or through unprotected sexual contact. Beginning in 2015 a large outbreak of Zika virus occurred in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The CDC still recommends that pregnant women, or couples that are planning for pregnancy avoid travel to areas with ongoing Zika activity. The majority of people infected with Zika develop mild symptoms, or none at all. However, when Zika virus is passed from a pregnant mother to her unborn baby, severe brain defects, including microcephaly and other nervous system defects can occur. Preventing mosquito bites and protective sexual practices are the most important ways to reduce infection or risk of pregnancy complications.