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How to Prevent Zika

There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. Here’s how:

Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.

Treat your clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items.

Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. Always follow the product label instructions. When used as directed, these insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Do not use insect repellents on babies younger than 2 months old.

Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.

Mosquito netting can be used to cover babies younger than 2 months old in carriers, strollers, or cribs to protect them from mosquito bites.

Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.

Prevent sexual transmission of Zika by using condoms or not having sex.


What to do if You Have Zika

There is no specific medicine to treat Zika.

Treat the symptoms:

Get plenty of rest.

Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.

Take medicine such as acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.

Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.


To help prevent others from getting sick, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the first week of illness.


Why Zika is Risky for Some People

Zika infection during pregnancy can cause fetuses to have a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly. Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth. There have also been increased reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome, an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, in areas affected by Zika.