Don’t get stung! What you need to know about the Zika virus

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Spring is here! And while the new season means great weather, new buds and blossoms, cookouts and other cheery notes, it also usually means more mosquitos.

With the recent horror stories in the news about the Zika virus, it might be scary to think about more mosquitos in your environment and any likelihood of this new virus spreading.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website says no local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in the U.S., there have been travel-associated cases.

Given the recent outbreaks in Mexico, Central America and South America, the CDC expects the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the U.S. will “likely” increase, and could result in the spread of the virus in some areas of the country.

Based on information from the CDC, the EPA and other sources, here are a few things you should know about Zika:

How it spreads

The virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. If a man is infected, he can possibly infect someone else through sexual transmission.

If someone is infected and is then bitten by an uninfected mosquito during the incubation period, that mosquito can then infect others. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the species that carries Zika.

Symptoms

Common symptoms are fever, joint pain, rash, red eyes, muscle pain and headache.

 

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