The Zika virus (Zika) is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus species of mosquito. Mosquito transmission of the Zika virus is found in nearly 50 countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Pacific Islands and Africa.
While there have been no mosquito transmitted Zika cases in the continental United States, the mosquito species that can carry the virus are believed to be present in Missouri. These mosquitoes may be daytime or nighttime biters, prefer to live indoors, and can spread other viruses such as dengue and chikungunya. It is important to note these mosquitoes can spread Zika among people only after biting an infected person.
Missouri data regarding mosquito-borne infection can be found on DHSS’s Data and Statistical page.
Continental United States Zika Data can be found at CDC’s Zika site.
Most people with Zika will not have symptoms. Once a person is infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections. However, they can pass the virus on to others if bitten by the Aedes mosquito while the virus is present in their blood or, if a man is infected, through sexual contact. This infectious period usually lasts seven days. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). If a person does get sick, the illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, including microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. There are no vaccines to prevent Zika virus disease and no drugs to treat it.
The two most effective methods of Zika prevention include reducing mosquito populations and using personal protection measures to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission. For more information regarding Zika prevention and personal protection measures, visit Controlling Mosquitoes, Personal Protection Measures, If You Have Zika, Zika and Pregnant Women, and Zika and Travelers.
For additional information please visit http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/zika/?/mosquitoes