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How can I avoid contracting the Zika virus?

To avoid contracting the Zika virus, you should do the following:

  • Avoid mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and wearing mosquito repellent in areas known to have Zika and/or Aedes mosquitos.
  • Avoid sexual contact with a person infected with Zika, or use a condom during sexual contact with a person infected with Zika.

Zika is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. It can also be transmitted to people through sexual contact with an infected person or contact with the blood or urine of an infected person. Zika is thought to live in semen for a longer time frame than other bodily fluids.

To avoid contracting the Zika virus, take proper precautions to avoid being bitten by the mosquito that transmits the virus. Avoid going to an area where Zika is endemic. If you're actively trying to become pregnant, postpone your vacation, and if you’re in a situation where you can’t postpone a trip for some reason–if it’s a business trip that you can’t get out of–take all the proper precautions to avoid being bitten by the mosquito. Or, if a sexual partner’s involved, if you’re pregnant, use a condom every time throughout the entire pregnancy, even if the exposure was months ago.

If you’re just going for travel, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, use an EPA-approved mosquito repellant to help avoid the spread. Even though there has not yet been a mosquito-borne illness in the United States, mosquito populations increase in the summer. The United States does have the same types of mosquitoes that transmit the disease so, it’s only a matter of time before someone coming back from Puerto Rico, is at a backyard barbeque and gets bitten by a mosquito and then someone at the same party could contract the disease in that way. So far, there’ve been none of those cases in the United States but it’s only a matter of time.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.