• Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes bite during the day and night.
  • There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
  • Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.
  • Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her partners. Zika can be passed through sex, even if the infected person does not have symptoms at the time. 
  • Local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in the continental United States. Learn more.
  • Microcephaly is a birth defect in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.
  • 44 states reported cases of pregnant women with evidence of Zika in 2016. Most were travel-associated.
  • About 1 in 10 pregnant women with confirmed Zika had a fetus or baby with birth defects. 
    Data from US Zika Pregnancy Registry (50 US states and DC)
Congenital Zika Syndrome
Congenital Zika syndrome is described by the following five features:
  • Severe microcephaly where the skull has partially collapsed
  • Decreased brain tissue with a specific pattern of brain damage
  • Damage to the back of the eye
  • Joints with limited range of motion, such as clubfoot
  • Too much muscle tone restricting body movement soon after birth

DSHS Updates Testing Recommendations for Rio Grande Valley

News Release  April 7, 2017

DSHS  issued a health alert that now recommends testing all pregnant residents of Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata counties in both the first and second trimesters of pregnancy and ANY RESIDENT who has a RASH plus AT LEAST ONE other common Zika symptom: FEVER, JOINT PAIN or EYE REDNESS.