What are my chances of getting Zika?

Your risk of contracting the Zika virus is very, very low. In fact, many people who contract Zika may not even realize it. So far, there is no mosquito-borne transmission of the Zika virus within the United States, so most screening efforts are looking to see if a person has traveled to an area where it is endemic. Zika is contracted by mosquitoes in Puerto Rico and Central and South America. So, doctors are screening for Zika to see if a person or a sexual partner has been in one of these territories. The tricky part is that the incubation time of the virus is between three and seven days. So, you might come back from a vacation or a conference and show no signs yet.

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Your chance, or risk, of getting Zika depends on where you live or travel. The Zika virus has been seen in Mexico, Central America, South America, Puerto Rico and on several Caribbean islands. Anyone traveling to these areas may come in contact with the Zika virus. You should take steps to prevent mosquito bites. In the U.S, the Zika virus has so far been found only in limited areas in Florida, although people who have come in contact with the virus elsewhere have returned to country with the infection. (This is called a travel-associated case.)

Only 1 in 5 people bitten by a mosquito infected with Zika will actually get Zika. A person may not become infected—possibly because their immune system was on overdrive that day, or the amount of the virus carried by the mosquito was very small.

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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.