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Zika Virus Frequently Asked Questions

Following the initial spread of Zika in Brazil in May 2015, there have been an increased number of infants born with microcephaly in that region. Download FAQs from Linn County Public Health or visit for the latest information.

Is the Zika virus being transmitted locally in the United States?

The first transmission of the Zika virus was indicated in Texas in early February, 2016. It was transmitted from someone who had recently returned from Venezuela and is the first known case of the virus being locally acquired in the continental United States, according to CNN.

What is the risk in Iowa?

The Aedes mosquitoes transmitting Zika are found in many tropical and subtropical areas and are not established in Iowa. Risk to Iowans occurs when he or she travels to areas of the world affected by the virus.

Is there a vaccine to protect against Zika?

No. The CDC recommends all pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

I have to travel to an area where Zika transmission is active. What can I do to for protection?

If travel to Zika-affected areas cannot be postponed, follow strict steps to avoid mosquito bites including wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants, use of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellents (when used as directed on the product label, insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin and IR3535 are safe for pregnant women), using permethrin-treated clothing and gear, and stay/sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms. Read specific information from the CDC.

I have recently traveled to an area where Zika transmission is active. What should I do?

Tell your doctor so that you may be evaluated and tested in accordance to CDC interim guidance as appropriate.