More About Zika Virus from the Michigan Mosquito Control Association

April 26th, 2016 by Tuff Turf Molebusters

More about Zika virus:

Zika is a viral illness spread by the bite of two species of infected mosquitoes, and is an emerging disease in the western hemisphere. People who are bitten by a Zika virus infected mosquito often show only minor symptoms, if any. Major concerns of Zika, however, include the virus’ documented impact on pregnancies and sexual transmission of the virus. Below are some frequently asked questions about Zika virus:

How does somebody get Zika virus?

Zika is primarily spread through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito: 

  •     Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are common in South & Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and some parts of the U.S.. They have not been detected in the state of Michigan.
For updated information about areas with Zika, go to

Zika is also transmitted through sexual contact: 

  •      Zika can be passed from an infected man during sex. The man gets infected by a mosquito bite and spreads it to his partner through unprotected sex. This is preventable by using condoms, the right way, every time during all types of sex.
For up-to-date recommendations regarding the prevention of sexually transmitted Zika, see:

You cannot get Zika virus from coughing and sneezing.

What are the symptoms of Zika virus?

  • Most people infected with Zika will not show symptoms and don’t even know they have it. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. 
  • Zika symptoms may include: fever, headache, rash, reddened eyes, joint and/or muscle pain.

What are the concerns for pregnant women?

  • If a pregnant woman is infected with Zika, she can pass the virus to her fetus. Zika has been linked to cases of microcephaly. Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age.
  • Pregnant women or women planning to get pregnant are advised to avoid, or postpone travel to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission.
For information about birth defects related to Zika virus, see:
For updated information about areas with Zika, go to

How can I prevent mosquito bites while traveling to areas with Zika virus?

  • The mosquitoes that transmit Zika bite during the day and night. 
  • It’s important to wear EPA registered insect repellents when in areas with current Zika virus activity. Loose fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants can also be protective in these areas. 
  • Try to stay in locations with window and door screens and air conditioning.

Will Zika be a health threat in the U.S.?

  • Zika may spread through mosquito bites in some states later this spring and summer. Based on US experiences with similar viruses (dengue and chikungunya), states like Florida, Hawaii, and Texas, may have cases or small clusters of diseases that are spread by infected mosquitoes. Additional states may also be at risk. 
  • To date, the species that transmit Zika virus have not been found in the State of Michigan. 
  • Some health departments and areas with mosquito control districts are actively monitoring for the presence of these mosquitoes in the state.
For up-to-date maps of the distribution of these mosquito species, see:

How can I prevent mosquito bites around my home? 

  • Wear EPA registered insect repellents when working or recreating outside during peak mosquito activity periods. 
  • Eliminate small containers of water such as buckets, tires, and planters. Also cover rain barrels with mesh so that mosquitoes cannot develop in them. 
  • Make sure window and door screens are in good repair. Not all Michigan communities practice mosquito control. The best way to protect communities from disease carrying mosquitoes is through proactive control measures. For questions about mosquito control in your community, contact your local mosquito control district or your city, township, or county government.

This information provided by the Mosquito Control Association of Michigan.