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Zika Virus Information

Washtenaw County Public Health is providing information and coordinating testing.

Zika virus outbreaks are occurring in multiple countries, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel notices. See or El virus del Zika (Spanish) for updates.

If you are traveling to an area with active Zika virus transmission, take steps to avoid mosquito bites. The CDC recommends pregnant women avoid travel to these areas, if possible.

Symptoms of Zika virus disease include fever, rash, joint pain and red irritated eyes. 

Testing is currently recommended for:

  • Pregnant women with or without symptoms who have traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission within the last 12 weeks, or who have a sexual partner with possible Zika virus exposure 
  • Individuals with symptoms who have traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission within the last two weeks, or who have a sexual partner with possible Zika virus exposure

Contact your health provider or visit a local hospital or urgent care to request testing. Health care providers: please see "Michigan Flowchart: Authorization of Specimens for Zika Virus (ZIKV) Testing." 

Zika Testing in Washtenaw County as of Oct 4, 2016

Tests Completed Travel-Associated Cases Locally-Acquired Cases* 
113 3 0

*Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. These mosquitoes are not currently found in Michigan, but are common in more tropical areas.

Information from the CDC about Zika

What is Zika Virus?

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

How can it be Prevented?

Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites. When traveling to countries where Zika virus or other viruses spread by mosquitoes are found, take the following steps:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women. Follow product instructions and reapply as directed. If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
  • If you have a baby or child: Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age. Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs, or cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting. Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin. Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items. Follow product instructions. Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. 

    Zika Virus and Pregnancy

    Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby. There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly in babies of mothers who had Zika virus while pregnant. Knowledge of the link between Zika and birth defects is evolving, but until more is known, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women. 

    Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus is spreading. If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.


    There is no vaccine to prevent or specific medicine to treat Zika infections. Instead, treat the symptoms:
    • Get plenty of rest.
    • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
    • Take medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to relieve fever and pain.
    • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
    • If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
    If you have Zika, prevent mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.
    • During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites.
    • An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.

    Can Zika Virus be Spread through Sex?

    There is evidence that the Zika virus can be sexually transmitted from a man to his sex partners. Men who live or are traveling in an area with active Zika virus transmission should take steps to prevent mosquito bites. 
    Until we know more, the man might consider abstaining from sex or using condoms the right way every time for vaginal, anal, and oral sex (fellatio or mouth-to-penis). Condoms can also help prevent getting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. For updates, please see 

      Additional Information

      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Zika Virus

      El virus del Zika (Spanish)

      Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Zika Virus Information 

      Fact Sheets and Posters in English and Spanish from the CDC

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