The mosquitoes that carry Zika are aggressive daytime biters, but they can also bite at night. A mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person already infected with Zika. That mosquito can then spread the virus by biting more people.
Zika virus can also spread:
- During sex with a man infected with Zika.
- From a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth.
- Through blood transfusion (likely but not confirmed).
Zika: The Basics of the Virus
Zika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). People can also get Zika through sex with a man infected with Zika and it can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus. People can protect themselves from mosquito bites and getting Zika through sex. This fact sheet explains who’s most affected and why, symptoms and treatment, and how to protect against Zika.
Aedes species mosquito
Many people infected with Zika won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes. Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. Symptoms can last for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. Once a person has been infected with Zika, they are likely to be protected from future infections.