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Zika Virus

aedes aeg.jpg    Aedes aegypti female​

​Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, transmitted primarily by two species of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, both of which are not found in Alaska.

The most common symptoms of Zika virus are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, which can occur from 3 to 12 days after exposure. The illness is usually mild, with only one out of five infected people developing symptoms. Symptoms usually last less than one week.

Based on currently available data, the spread of Zika is no longer at the same high levels seen during the main outbreak period in the Americas during 2015 to 2017.  No local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in the continental United States in 2018 and 2019.  In 2007, a case of Zika was confirmed in an Alaskan who traveled to Yap, and in July 2016 an out of state person was diagnosed with Zika while in Alaska. Most recently in April 2017, a case was confirmed in an Alaskan who travelled to Central America.

The Alaska Zika Action Plan can be found here.

Arbovirus infections (including Zika) are reportable conditions in Alaska. Providers are reminded to report all suspected Zika infections to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology (SOE) at (907) 269-8000.

​​​Laboratory Testing for Zika

Testing is recommended only for certain people.  If you have questions or think you should be tested, talk to your health care provider.

If you have symptoms

Zika testing is recommended if you have symptoms of Zika and

  • You live in or traveled to an area with risk of Zika or
  • You had sex without a condom with a partner who lives in or traveled to an area with risk of Zika.
Pregnant women

Zika testing is recommended for pregnant women who don't have Zika symptoms in certain cases.  Individuals should tested for Zika if pregnant and

  • ​Have ongoing exposure to Zika because they you live in or frequently travel to an area with risk of Zika​ or
  • A doctor sees Zika-associated abnormalities on an ultrasound or a baby is delivered with birth defects that may be related to Zika.

Zika virus testing is available at the Alaska State Public Health Laboratory-Anchorage (ASPHL) and other commercial reference laboratories.  Testing at ASPHL however must be pre-approved by the Section of Epidemiology: call (907) 269-8000.

If you are concerned about Zika and considering getting pregnant, click here.