Acute Communicable
Disease Control

Contact Information
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Acute Communicable Disease Control
313 N. Figueroa Street, #212
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 240-7941
Fax: (213) 482-4856

Call 211 For Information 24/7

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Acute Communicable Disease Control
(Back to Zika main page)
About Zika Virus Disease

How does Zika spread?
  • Mosquito bites
  • From a pregnant women to her fetus
  • Unprotected sex
  • Blood transfusions (likely but not confirmed)

What are the symptoms of Zika infection?

Most people infected with Zika won't have any symptoms at all or will only have mild symptoms. Therefore, most people do not seek medical attention or are not sick enough to go to the hospital. Symptoms can last up to a week. Once a person has been infected with Zika, they are likely immune from future Zika infections. The most common symptoms of Zika are:
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Red eyes
  • Muscle pain

Zika During Pregnancy
Zika infection during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects of an infant's brain called microcephaly. Zika is also linked to other problems such as miscarriage and stillbirth. Please see Special Report: Newborn Microcephaly: How Often is it Diagnosed in LAC? for a five-year review of county hospitalizations with a microcephaly diagnosis.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome
Numerous countries that have experienced Zika outbreaks have also reported increases in people who have Guillain-Barré syndrome, an uncommon sickness of the nervous system. However, only a small percentage of people with recent Zika virus infection get Guillain-Barré syndrome.


Protect Yourself and Others
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people. The best way to prevent Zika, and other diseases that spread by mosquitoes, is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites while you travel to areas where Zika is spreading. Also, continue to avoid mosquito bites for at least three weeks after you return to LA County. Please see Special Report: Zika Community Engagements Meetings for information about how LA County is conducting mosquito abatement.

Preventing Mosquito Bites
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone. See FLYER for more tips.
  • Do not use insect repellents on children 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.
  • When outside, especially when you are in areas with mosquitoes, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

Plan for Travel
  • Outbreaks of Zika are currently occurring in many countries and territories. Check the LOCATIONS before you travel.
  • Include a mosquito protection plan both before and after your trip.
  • Review the CDC's travel RECOMMENDATIONS for areas with risk of Zika.

Protect Yourself During Sex
Zika can spread through unprotected sex from a person who is infected to his or her partner. Not having sex can eliminate the risk of getting Zika from sex. Pregnant couples should use condoms or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy. Men should use condoms for 3 months from diagnosis of Zika infection or travel to areas where Zika is spreading. Women should take sexual precautions for 8 weeks after diagnosis or travel.

Diagnosis of Zika is based on a person’s recent travel history, symptoms, and test results. A blood and/or urine test can confirm a Zika infection.

There is no specific medicine or vaccine for Zika virus. The only course is to 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 (NSAIDs).
  • If you are taking medication for another health condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

See your doctor if you develop symptoms of Zika and have recently traveled to an area with risk of Zika or if you had sex without a condom with a person who lives in or traveled to an area with risk of Zika. Be sure to tell your doctor where you traveled and when you returned. A blood or urine test can confirm a Zika infection. Testing is especially important if you are pregnant or the partner of a pregnant woman.


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