Zika fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by Zika virus (ZIKV), consisting of mild fever, rash (mostly maculo-papular), headaches, arthralgia, myalgia, and non-purulent conjunctivitis. Only one in four people may develop symptoms, and the disease is usually mild. Its clinical manifestation is often similar to dengue and chikungunya, two other diseases that are trasferred with the same mosquito, Aedes.
Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas. Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries.
On January 11, 2016, Texas (USA) health officials confirmed the latest case of imported Zika in a patient who had recently traveled to Latin America and subsequently exhibited characteristic symptoms including fever, rash and joint pain. Areas of Texas, like in some other states in the southern U.S., are home to Aedes mosquitoes capable of transmitting Zika, but there are no cases of local transmission of the disease in the U.S. mainland so far.
A possible link between ZIKV infection in pregnant women and subsequent birth defects (microcephaly) is being investigated in Brazil. Because there is neither a vaccine nor prophylactic medications available to prevent Zika virus infection, CDC recommends that all pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Read CDC'd Interim Guidelines for Pregnant Women During a Zika Virus Outbreak — United States, 2016
CDC's Interim Guidelines for the Evaluation and Testing of Infants with Possible Congenital Zika Virus Infection — United States, 2016