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.
Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas, with Puerto Rico reporting its first case of locally-acquired disease in December 2015. Locally mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in the continental United States. 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. Over 90 Alaskans have been tested for Zika after travel to countries with Zika transmission, and all have tested negative.
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 including:
- Symptomatic (e.g., fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis) people who have traveled to an area with Zika; OR
- Pregnant women, with or without symptoms, who have traveled to an area with Zika virus; OR
- An infant/child of a woman suspected to have Zika infection.
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.
The CDC links either to the right or below provide the latest information on Zika Virus