CDC Emergency Partners Newsletter - Special Zika Virus Edition - March 11, 2016

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Emergency Partners Newsletter


March 11, 2016

Zika virus (Zika) is spreading in multiple countries and territories. Please share the following information with those who may find it useful.

Table of Contents

Types of Cases

Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (A. aegypti and A. albopictus). To date, Zika has not been spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States. However, lab tests have confirmed Zika virus in travelers returning to the United States. These travelers have gotten the virus from mosquito bites and a few through sex.

With the recent outbreaks in the Americas, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase. CDC is not able to predict how much Zika virus would 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 in the continental United States of chikungunya and dengue, which are spread by the same type of mosquito, have been relatively small and limited to a small area.

Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted by a man to his partners. Not having sex is the best way to prevent sexually transmitted Zika. If a person is sexually active, using condoms, the right way, every time he or she has sex can reduce the chance that he or she can get Zika through sex.  


There is no specific medicine or vaccine for Zika virus.

The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Treat your clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.

To prevent sexually transmitted Zika, use condoms, the right way, every time you have sex.


The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)

Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms. The sickness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.

The following steps can reduce the symptoms of Zika:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Take medicine, such as acetaminophen, to reduce fever and pain. 
  • Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding. 
  • If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

To learn more, please visit CDC's Zika virus page.


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    Build Your Own Zika Prevention Kit!

    prevention kit

    Click the photo to learn more about how to build your own Zika Prevention Kit.

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    "A Zika Breakthrough: Scientists Detail how Virus can Attack Fetal Brain"

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    Click the picture to watch a video about how researchers from Johns Hopkins, Florida State, and Emory Universities believe Zika virus can attack the fetal brain.

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    Webinar- Zika Preparedness and Response: A Public Health and Legal Perspective

    Quick Links

    CDC's Public Health Law Program is partnering with others in the public health legal community to provide training related to the legal issues of the current Zika response.

    • Date: Fri, Mar 18, 2016
    • Time: 1:00 PM EDT
    • Duration: 1 hour

    Click HERE to register and learn more!

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    Online Resources

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    Communication Tips

    CERC logo

    Acknowledge Uncertainty

    In any emergency or disease outbreak, people want to know as much as they can about potential risks. Not all questions can be answered right away. Reports from health officials in Brazil about the increase in cases of a severe birth defect—microcephaly—during a significant outbreak of Zika virus disease have raised many questions. While Zika virus has been associated with microcephaly in babies whose mothers were infected with Zika while pregnant, there is still a lot that is not known about this possible link.

    During a crisis, it is important to tell your audience:

    • What you know
    • What you don’t know
    • What process you are using to get the answers

    CDC’s key messages and communication materials for the current outbreak highlight what we know about Zika. We know that the virus can be spread from a pregnant mother to her fetus during pregnancy, and that having Zika virus during pregnancy has been linked to microcephaly, fetal loss, and other poor pregnancy outcomes.

    CDC also states what we do not know yet. We are still investigating the likelihood of Zika passing to a fetus from an infected pregnant woman, if there is a time during the pregnancy when the Zika virus is more likely to harm the fetus, or if a baby will develop birth defects if infected.

    To help answer these questions, CDC is conducting research and surveillance activities in collaboration with health officials in other countries, and we are establishing a Zika pregnancy registry in the US. And, as we learn more, we continue to update our audiences with new facts, new questions, and information on how we’re working with our global public health partners to address this emerging situation.

    Have you used CERC in your work? To share your CERC stories, e-mail Your stories may appear in future CERC Corners.

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    Social Media Partner Resources

    These social media messages are available so that you can share on your organization's social media accounts.

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    Are your spring break plans taking you somewhere tropical? Find out if your destination has Zika. Prevent mosquito bites during and after travel to prevent the spread of Zika. See CDC’s travel notices for more information:

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    #‎Zika‬ virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to avoid being bitten. CDC recommends using EPA-registered insect repellents. Learn more about Zika:

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    Traveling for #springbreak? See CDC travel notices for important #Zika information: 

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    Pack smart - protect your family from #Zika. Bring insect repellent & permethrin-treated clothes/gear.  #springbreak


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    Stay Connected

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    Contact Us


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333


    Contact CDC-INFO

    800-CDC-INFO    (800-232-4636)    TTY: 888-232-6348

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