Zika Virus

Zika virus, originally found in Africa, was discovered in Brazil in early 2015. Since then it has
spread rapidly throughout South and Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico,
and limited local transmission in Florida by late 2016. The virus amplifies in humans which is
then transmitted to other humans by mosquitoes. Only 1 in 5 people who are infected with the
virus will show symptoms and most will recover within a week. While the effect of the Zika virus
in adults is usually mild, the greater concern is its potential effect on the development of
babies in infected pregnant women, particularly during the first trimester. There is also
evidence that the virus can be transmitted through sexual contact. To date, the only Zika
cases in Illinois have been in individuals who have travelled to areas with active virus
transmission. Local transmission is unlikely.

There are two species of mosquitoes implicated in the spread of Zika virus.
Aedes aegypti is
the primary carrier of the virus, found in warm climates but rarely in Illinois.
Aedes albopictus
is a secondary carrier, with a range that extends into central Illinois. Neither of these species
are well established in the District, though on occasion, an adult or larval
Ae. albopictus has
been found. This mosquito develops in discarded tires, buckets, and other artificial
containers. We continue to monitor the mosquito population for both species in the event they
are introduced from other areas.

More information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) web site at:

and on the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) web site at:
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