Zika Virus

Zika Virus Symptoms, Treatment, Risk


About 80% of the people infected with Zika virus are asymptomatic. Approximately 20% may experience mild flu-like symptoms: fever, joint pain, rash, headache, muscle aches. Symptoms usually last from several days to 1 week. There is no specific antiviral treatment and no vaccine or prophylactic medications available for this virus. Supportive care is recommended. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and fatalities are rare. Guillain-Barre syndrome has been reported in patients following suspected Zika virus infection.


Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Aedes albopictus mosquitoes might also be capable of transmitting this virus. These mosquitoes are not native to South Dakota.

If someone knows they have Zika virus, it’s important that they avoid mosquito bites during the first week of infection. Humans are not dead-end hosts. During this first week, the virus can be passed to other mosquitoes through mosquito bites. These infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people.

Recommendations for Pregnant Women

CDC recommends that pregnant women avoid traveling to areas where Zika virus is ongoing. Zika virus infections have been confirmed in infants with microcephaly (a rare neurological condition in which an infant's head is significantly smaller than normal). Although it is not known if these cases are associated with Zika virus, there is reason to be concerned and further studies are being conducted. For more information about Zika virus, please visit the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

Image of Countries with cases of Zika virus in the Americas Image of distribution of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes in the USA