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Beware the Zika virus

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What we know from the CDC

Top 5 things you need to know:

1. Zika primarily spreads through infected mosquitoes. You can also get Zika through sex.

Many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can spread Zika virus. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters and can also bite at night. Also, a man infected with Zika can pass it to his partners through sex.

2. The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites.

3. Zika is linked to birth defects.

Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly that is a sign of incomplete brain development. Doctors have also found other problems in pregnancies and among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth. If you are pregnant and have a male partner who lives in or has traveled to an area with Zika, do not have sex, or use condoms the right way, every time, during your pregnancy.

4. Pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika.

If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.

5. Returning travelers infected with Zika can spread the virus through mosquito bites.

Zika virus can stay in your blood for about a week. When a mosquito bites you, you can pass the virus to the mosquito. The infected mosquito can then bite other people, who get infected.

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