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Zika Virus

Aedes aegypti mosquito

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne infection that is related to dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. It was first discovered in Uganda in 1947 and is common in Africa and Asia but did not begin spreading to South and Central America until 2015. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects. Zika virus is not present in mosquitoes in the United States, nor New Hampshire, though there have been cases of the virus in the U.S. in people who traveled to countries where the virus is being transmitted.

Approximately 80% of people who are infected with the Zika virus do not develop symptoms. In those who do become ill, the disease is usually mild and lasts from several days to a week. The symptoms of Zika virus infection include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

In January 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory for people planning to visit countries where Zika virus is being transmitted by mosquitoes. Pregnant women, especially, should consider postponing travel to any affected areas, and anybody planning to travel should talk to their healthcare provider or visit a travel medicine clinic prior to any travel.

Documents & Information

Health Alert Network

02/05/2016 Zika Virus Transmission in the Americas: Update #1 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
01/20/2016 Zika Virus Transmission in the Americas Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol

Press Releases

01/29/2016 Governor Hassan, State Officials Taking Preemptive Action Regarding the Zika Virus

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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