“Zika is the first mosquito-transmissible virus that has been shown to cause birth defects, and the first mosquito-borne sexually transmitted disease or infection.” 

CDC Director Tom Frieden, Jul 25, 2016

  • Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms.
    The most common symptoms of Zika are
    - Rash
    - Conjunctivitis (Red Eyes)
    - Fever
    - Headache
    - Joint pain 

  • Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes bite during the day and night.

  • There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
  • Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.
  • Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her partners. Zika can be passed through sex, even if the infected person does not have symptoms at the time. 
  • Local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in the continental United States. Learn more.
  • Microcephaly is a birth defect in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.
  • 44 states reported cases of pregnant women with evidence of Zika in 2016. Most were travel-associated.
  • About 1 in 10 pregnant women with confirmed Zika had a fetus or baby with birth defects. 
    Data from US Zika Pregnancy Registry (50 US states and DC)
ZIKA Prevention Tips
doctor and pregnant women
Congenital Zika Syndrome
Congenital Zika syndrome is described by the following five features:
  • Severe microcephaly where the skull has partially collapsed
  • Decreased brain tissue with a specific pattern of brain damage
  • Damage to the back of the eye
  • Joints with limited range of motion, such as clubfoot
  • Too much muscle tone restricting body movement soon after birth
breaking news

Texas Medicaid Mosquito Repellent Benefit Aims To Protect Texans
AUSTINStarting May 1, Texas will begin providing this year’s statewide Medicaid benefit for mosquito repellent to prevent Zika virus transmission. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is offering the repellent to more Medicaid clients to ensure additional Texans are protected from the virus that can be devastating to unborn babies.
The benefit is for pregnant women, women ages 10-55, and males age 14 and up who are enrolled in Medicaid managed care, fee-for-service, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and CHIP-Perinatal programs. Recipients can pick up mosquito repellent without needing a prescription. In addition, individuals who meet the eligibility criteria for Healthy Texas Women, Children with Special Health Care Needs, or the Family Planning Program can receive the benefit. Eligible clients in the CSHCN program require a prescription.


DSHS Updates Testing Recommendations for Rio Grande Valley
News Release  April 7, 2017

DSHS  issued a health alert that now recommends testing all pregnant residents of Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata counties in both the first and second trimesters of pregnancy and ANY RESIDENT who has a RASH plus AT LEAST ONE other common Zika symptom: FEVER, JOINT PAIN or EYE REDNESS.

Clues to Zika Damage Might Lie in Cases of Twins
NY Times May 1, 2017

While identical twins often share a fate, fraternal twins typically don’t, a divergence that offers clues to researchers.  But one case is confounding these expectations.

Pregnant women unaware of Zika basics, Texas study finds
Houston Chronicle - Tuesday, May 2, 2017 
A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston found that most pregnant women in southeast Texas were under educated about the affects of the Zika virus.

Zika Epidemic in U.S. Could Be a Costly Scenario
WEDNESDAY, May 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in the United States could be very costly, a new study warns.
"The impact of a 1 percent infection rate could reach $1.2 billion, while a 10 percent infection rate could cost more than $10.3 billion, the researchers found."