Learn about the Zika Virus

Zika posterThe Zika virus is spread to humans when they are bitten by an infected mosquito. The illness itself is a mild one, with symptoms of a fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes), lasting a few days to as long as a week, but it can have serious consequences for unborn children.

The disease is transmitted from person-to-person when someone with the Zika virus is bitten by a mosquito and then that infected mosquito bites another person. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth. People can also get Zika by having unprotected sex with an infected man.

There is no vaccination for the Zika virus. The only way to avoid it at this time is to avoid being bitten by an infected mosquito and avoid having unprotected sex with infected men. To reduce your chances of coming into contact with the disease, avoid travel to areas that are currently known to have a significant population of mosquitoes infected by this virus and protect yourself from getting bitten by mosquitoes.

Read the NJ Department of Health (DOH) Zika FAQ.

Visit the NJ DOH to learn more about Zika and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Zika Care Connect is a new program designed to connect women, parents and caregivers of infants, and families affected by Zika to recommended healthcare services. View more inforamtion here

The NJ DOH and NJ Poison Information and Education System have partnered to open Zika Call Center.

Call 1-800-962-1253 any time of the day or night, seven days a week.

Here is what the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends you do:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. All EPA-registered insect repellents are evaluated for safety and effectiveness. 
    • Always follow the product label instructions. 
    • Reapply insect repellent as directed. 
    • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing. 
    • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age. Instead, dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs, and cover your crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
    • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
    • Adults should spray insect repellent onto their hands and then apply it to a child’s face.
  • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or buy permethrin-treated items.
    • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.
    • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
    • Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

Learn More About Zika

You can learn much more about the Zika virus by visiting the CDC website and the NJ DOH Zika virus pages.

Page last modified/reviewed on May 31, 2017

If you know of additional resources that would be appropriate to include in this section, please let us know by contacting us via e-mail at info@nj211.org

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