Here are some current facts about Zika, and what you should know:

What is the Zika virus?

The Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Where is the Zika virus?

The Zika virus was first reported in Brazil, but has spread throughout South America and Central America. Of interest to Arizona families, Zika virus is currently present inMexico and the Caribbean (Barbados; Curaçao; Dominican Republic; Guadeloupe; Haiti; Jamaica; Martinique; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory; Saint Martin; U.S. Virgin Islands) So far, the only reported cases of Zika in the US have been folks returning from visits to Countries where Zika transmission is ongoing.

Should parents be worried?

Most of the concern is for pregnant women, because there is a suspected link between the Zika virus and potential birth defects (visit www.cdc.gov/zika if you might be/are pregnant and traveling). For non-pregnant adults and children, there is a risk of contracting the virus if exposed to mosquito bites. The best way to prevent potential exposure is to follow the CDC’s guidelines for travelers at http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/pdfs/fs_mosquito_bite_prevention_travelers.pdf