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Zika Virus Disease (Zika)

Zika is a disease caused by the Zika virus. It is spread to people most often through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Zika illness is usually mild. About 4 out of 5 people who get Zika won’t even know they have it. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. However, Zika can cause birth defects in unborn children whose mothers get the disease.

Most cases of Zika in the United States have been reported in travelers returning to the U.S. from affected areas. However, local transmission by mosquitoes has been reported in limited areas of Florida and Texas. See below for “Zika Smart” travel information.

Zika Virus Q&A from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

How Zika Spreads



Zika and Travel

If you are planning to travel, be Zika Smart! 

See the latest Zika travel information and guidance for international travel. The CDC has an interactive world map – just type in your destination and click on the map for Zika information.

For travel in North America:

Zika in Florida

Zika in Texas

Zika in Mexico

If you are traveling to an area where Zika transmission has been detected, follow this CDC guidance to prevent mosquito bites. If you are pregnant, consider changing or cancelling travel plans. If you are pregnant or can get pregnant and your partner travels to an area where Zika is spreading, see the Zika and Sexual Transmission section below.

For spring break travel tips, that also apply to travel any time:

Zika Prevention and Travel for students

Zika Prevention and Travel for families


Zika in Maryland

No Zika transmission has been identified in Maryland at this time. Zika virus has been detected in Maryland residents who traveled to countries with ongoing Zika transmission.

For Maryland Zika updates, visit the Maryland Department of Health Zika page


Zika in the United States and U.S. Territories

As of December, 2016, “locally acquired” cases of Zika, meaning cases transmitted by mosquitoes in the area, were confirmed in Florida and Texas. There have been “travel associated” cases in all U.S. states.

There have been locally acquired cases in U.S. territories Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

See a current list and map of Zika cases in the United States

We do not know how much Zika virus will spread in the continental United States. Many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus. However, recent outbreaks of other mosquito-borne illness in the continental United States suggest that Zika outbreaks may be relatively small and limited in area.


Zika and Pregnancy

Zika virus can pass from a mother to the fetus during pregnancy. Infection with Zika during pregnancy has been linked to birth defects in babies.

Pregnant women who have recently traveled to an area with Zika should talk to a healthcare provider about their travel even if they don’t feel sick.

Women who are pregnant should consider postponing travel to any area where Zika is spreading.

A woman who is thinking about getting pregnant and has recently traveled to an area where Zika is spreading should talk to her healthcare provider. She should also talk to her healthcare provider if her male sexual partner recently traveled to an area with Zika. The CDC recommends that pregnant women whose partners have traveled to an area with active Zika transmission abstain from sexual activity, or use a condom the right way every time.

For more information, see these links from the CDC:

Pregnant? Read This Before You Travel 

Zika Prevention Kit for Pregnant Women

CDC Zika and Pregnancy Main Page

Women and their Partners who are Thinking about Pregnancy

Doctor’s Visit Checklist for Pregnant Women Who Traveled to an Area with Zika

For current Zika testing guidelines, call the Carroll County Health Department at 410-876-4900.


US Zika Pregnancy Registry

To learn more about Zika virus infection, the CDC has created the US Zika Pregnancy Registry. The information collected through this registry will be used to help prevent Zika infections, assist pregnant women and their families who are affected by Zika, and make recommendations to health care providers caring for pregnant women.

The registry is free, and information will be kept private.

US Zika Pregnancy Registry Fact Sheet


Zika and Sexual Transmission

Zika virus can be spread during sex by a man or woman infected with Zika. People whose partners live in or have traveled to an area with Zika transmission need to be concerned about getting Zika from sex.

Because Zika can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects, women who are expecting a baby or who might get pregnant should take steps to prevent Zika infection. See the link below for specific guidelines. 

Zika and Sexual Transmission


If you travel to an area with Zika or are diagnosed with Zika, protect others from getting sick

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, even if you don’t know you are sick.

What to Do if you are Sick with Zika

Take extra care to Prevent Mosquito Bites for at least 3 weeks after you traveled.

Also take care to  Prevent Sexual Transmission


Zika Information for Health Care Providers

Find updated information for Maryland healthcare providers, including clinician letters, on the Maryland Department of Health Zika page.  

CDC Zika Guidance for Health Care Providers


Zika and Mosquito Control

Though there have been no cases of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes in Maryland, it is still a good idea to control mosquitoes and mosquito bites. Mosquitoes in Maryland can carry other diseases, such as West Nile. Use the tips below to protect yourself from bites, and control mosquitoes on your property.

Fight the Bite 

Mosquito Bite Prevention

Mosquito Control Tips

Maryland Department of Agriculture – Zika and Mosquito Control 

For more information on local mosquito control efforts, call the Carroll County Health Department’s Bureau of Environmental Health at 410-876-1884.


Zika Videos

Don’t Get Bitten! Avoid Breeding Mosquitoes in Your Backyard (MD Dept. of Agriculture)

Elmo and Raya Learn About Zika (Sesame Street International Social Impact)

Elmo and Raya Learn How to Prevent Mosquito Bites (Sesame Street International Social Impact)


Talking to Children about Zika


Zika Resources

Click on the files below for printable pdf resources developed by the Carroll County Health Department, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention materials. 

Zika trifold 4.2016

Zika pregnancy card

Zika flyer general with Zika info BW


Updated 3/20/17