What Are the Symptoms of Zika Virus?


Everywhere you turn, there are scary headlines surrounding Zika virus. With that naturally comes worry and anxiety about becoming infected. Take note of these symptoms and other things to watch out for so you can keep yourself and your family safe.

Photo by: Shutterstock

Basic Zika virus symptoms

The itchiness you feel after a mosquito bite may lead to worry about whether or not you’ve been infected by Zika virus. Lucky for you, there’s a list of known Zika virus symptoms you can track, including:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Body Aches
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Muscle pain
  • Malaise (general feeling of discomfort or illness)

How likely are you to show Zika virus symptoms?

Just because you have a mosquito bite doesn’t mean you should worry. It’s estimated that 75% to 80% of those infected with Zika virus will not develop any symptoms. And only one in five people who are infected with Zika virus will actually get sick.

Timeline of Zika virus symptoms

It may take a few days for symptoms to show after being bitten by a Zika-carrying mosquito. And the virus will typically stay in your blood for 3—7 days. During this infection period, uninfected mosquitos that feed on your body may also become infected and, after about 2 weeks, could spread the virus to other people.

What is microcephaly?

Though symptoms of the Zika virus are usually mild and rarely lead to hospitalization, there is a big concern around pregnant women. The Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly, which is a congenital condition that’s associated with incomplete brain development in infants.

While Zika virus cannot spread directly from one person to another like the flu, it’s possible for a pregnant mother to transmit Zika virus to her baby while pregnant or around the time of birth.

According to the World Health Organization, links to other neurological complications are also being investigated.

Timeline of Zika virus symptoms

Zika virus can only be diagnosed through lab tests on blood or other fluids. Not only is there currently no specific vaccine or treatment available, but since symptoms are usually mild, no specific treatment is required if infected.

If you’re infected with Zika, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends resting, treating the pain with common medicines and drinking fluids, just as you would when normally showing these types of symptoms. And as always, if you have any medical questions, consult with your primary physician.

However, if you’re pregnant, have visited a Zika—affected area and show the symptoms mentioned above, it’s advised that you go ahead and visit your doctor immediately.

How to protect your home from mosquitos and the Zika virus

There are steps you can take to help protect you and your family from mosquitoes and the Zika virus. Watch Dr. Stan Cope’s video (hyperlink to: https://www.terminix.com/blog/bug-facts/zika-virus-symptoms) for some great tips on prevention and other helpful information.

Because you probably have more questions about the Zika virus, Terminix has created this facts guide for your reference. Staying informed and educated is another effective way to help in prevention.

Next > Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch? And Other Questions