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Published on July 13, 2016

Zika: What you need to know

Zika is a virus that spreads to people mainly through the bite of an infected mosquito, namely one of the aedes species, and outbreaks currently are happening in several countries.

The mosquitoes that carry the disease live in many areas of the world, including the United States, especially in warmer climates. Their range is ever-changing.

A mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person who is already infected with Zika. That mosquito can then spread the virus by biting more people.

The virus also can be spread:

  • During sex with a man infected with Zika
  • From a woman to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth
  • Through a blood transfusion (likely, but not confirmed).

To learn more about Zika, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website, www.cdc.gov/zika, and the site maintained by the New York State Department of Health, www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus.

These sites have helpful information about Zika symptoms, risk factors, methods of transmission, prevention, travel precautions and approaches to care.

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