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Zika Virus Information

Mar 04, 2016


The following is the latest information from the NYC Department of Health: 

Please contact your physician if you have further questions. 

If you need a travel consultation, please contact Dr. Margaret Lewin.


Basic Facts


The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Most people have mild symptoms and do not need to go to a hospital. Symptoms usually start two to 12 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and may last up to a week. Zika may be mistaken for other diseases caused by mosquitos, such as dengue virus or chikungunya virus. Health care providers use a blood test to confirm Zika.


There is no treatment for Zika, but medicine can help relieve the symptoms.

Affected Areas

Zika is affecting parts of Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and other places listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Find the latest Zika-affected locations at The type of mosquito linked to the current outbreak, Aedes aegypti, lives in these places. Aedes aegypti has not been found in New York City.

Zika is not spreading in New York City. A different mosquito that can carry Zika is sometimes found in New York City during the summer. This mosquito is called Aedes albopictus. Aedes albopictus is able to spread Zika to people, but health experts are still learning whether it is likely to spread Zika to people. Just because a mosquito can carry the virus does not mean that it will cause an outbreak. Health experts are planning for the possibility that Aedes albopictus could get infected with Zika locally and are taking aggressive steps to monitor this and take action if needed. Read “What the City is Doing” on for the City’s latest actions.

Pregnancy Warning

Zika is not dangerous for most people. However, Zika may cause birth defects. One birth defect possibly linked to Zika is a smaller than normal head. This condition is called “microcephaly.” Health experts are still learning about the link between Zika and microcephaly.

To avoid this risk, pregnant women and women who are trying to become pregnant should postpone travel to a Zika-affected area until health experts say it’s safe. Pregnant women who did travel to an area affected by Zika should call their health care providers immediately. Women who are trying to become pregnant should talk to their health care providers before traveling.

If a pregnant woman’s male sex partner visited an affected area, the couple should take these extra precautions:

Find more information about Zika and pregnancy at and

Sexual Contact Warning for non-Pregnant People

It is rare but possible for Zika to spread from one person to another through sexual contact. Health experts are still learning about this risk.

Because Zika is not dangerous for most people but could cause birth defects, sexually active men and women who travel to a Zika-affected area should use birth control during the trip. They should also continue using birth control for two weeks after arriving home. For a complete list of birth control options, visit and search “birth control”.

Men who traveled to a Zika-affected area can help stop the spread of Zika by using condoms correctly every time they have vaginal, anal and/or oral sex.

Notice for People Who Donated or Will Donate Blood

It is rare but possible for Zika to spread from one person to another through a blood transfusion. To help prevent this from happening:

What New Yorkers Should Do