Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedesspecies mosquito (Ae. aegypti andAe. albopictus). 

  • Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. 
  • Infection with Zika during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe brain defects. 
  • Zika is also linked to other problems, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and other birth defects. There have also been increased reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome, an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, in areas affected by Zika.


Zika virus is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti, in tropical and subtropical regions. Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, peaking during early morning and late afternoon/evening. This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.  Zika virus is also transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.


There is no treatment nor vaccine available for Zika virus infection or its associated diseases. Symptoms of Zika virus infection are usually mild. People with  symptoms such as fever, rash, or arthralgia should get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and treat pain and fever with common medicines. If symptoms worsen, they should seek medical care and advice. Pregnant women living in areas with Zika transmission or who develop symptoms of Zika virus infection should seek medical attention for laboratory testing and other clinical care. 


For more information about our Zika Virus research, please contact Dr. Nito Panganiban or Dr. Nick Maness.