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Zika Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What health problems can result from getting Zika?

A: Many people infected with Zika will have no symptoms or mild symptoms that last several days to a week. However, Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, is also very likely triggered by Zika in a small number of cases.


Q: If I am traveling to an area with Zika, should I be concerned about Zika?

A: Travelers who go to places with Zika can be infected with Zika, and CDC has issued travel notices for people traveling to those areas. Many people will have mild or no symptoms. Pregnant women should not travel to any area with Zika, and women trying to get pregnant should talk to their doctors before traveling or before their male partners travel. It is especially important that women who wish to delay or avoid pregnancy consistently use the most effective method of birth control that they are able to use. Those traveling to areas with Zika should take steps during and after they travel to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika.


Q: Can someone who returned from an area with Zika get tested for the virus?

A: Zika virus testing is performed at CDC and some state or territorial health departments. See your doctor if you have Zika symptoms and have recently visited an area with Zika. Your doctor may order tests to look for Zika or similar viruses like Dengue and Chikungunya.


Q: Should pregnant women travel to areas where Zika has been confirmed?

A: No. Pregnant women should not travel to any area with Zika. Travelers who go to places with outbreaks of Zika can be infected. Zika infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.


Q: What should pregnant women who have recently traveled to an area with Zika do?

A: Pregnant women who have recently traveled to an area with Zika should talk to their doctor about their travel, even if they donā??t feel sick. Pregnant women should see a doctor if they have any Zika-like symptoms during their trip or within 2 weeks after traveling. All pregnant women can protect themselves by avoiding travel to infected areas, preventing mosquito bites and following recommended precautions against getting Zika through sex.