Zika is a disease that spreads to people through bites from infected mosquitos. It is a virus.
Symptoms of Zika include fever, joint pain, rash, red eyes and muscle pain which start 3–7 days after being bitten. Most infected people have mild symptoms that last up to a week and it is rare for someone to die from Zika.
Most of the individuals that have fallen ill from Zika live in Southern Mexico, areas of Central and South America, and the Caribbean. The first United States case of Zika was identified in January of 2016 in someone who traveled to Central America.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant and/or possibly pregnant women avoid traveling to areas with Zika, since babies born to mothers infected during the first trimester of pregnancy carry a greater risk of having birth defects. Avoidance of mosquito bites is the best way to ensure that you are not infected with Zika. There are currently no medications or vaccines to treat this disease.