Zika virus disease is caused by a mosquitoborne virus first discovered in the Zika Forest region of Uganda in 1947. In 2015, a large outbreak affected areas in South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Zika virus is still circulating in many parts of the world and continues to be a public health concern. While the symptoms of Zika virus disease are typically mild, Zika virus infection has been linked to serious health conditions, particularly in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.
Local Zika virus transmission is not a concern to Minnesota residents since the mosquito species that transmit the virus are not established in this state. However, individuals who travel to affected areas may become infected and should either follow steps to prevent mosquito bites (Preventing Mosquitoborne Disease) or delay travel, particularly for pregnant women and their partners and couples planning a pregnancy within the next three months.
When choosing a travel destination, it is important to consider that the ability to detect a new outbreak varies by country, and reporting of new outbreaks may be delayed several weeks to months. While the risk of Zika virus infection is highest in areas with a current outbreak, risk also exists in any country that has ever reported Zika virus cases (past or current), and potentially even in countries where the mosquito exists but no Zika virus cases have been reported. Stay informed about which countries are currently affected by Zika virus before you travel, and don’t forget to check the maps for a few months after you come home in case an outbreak was identified afterwards by looking at the CDC's Zika Travel Information page.
- About Zika Virus Disease
Zika virus disease information. Including transmission, prevention, signs and symptoms, and answers to frequently asked questions.
- CDC: Zika Affected Areas
The most up-to-date information on where outbreaks of Zika virus are occurring and which countries may be affected by Zika virus.
- Is Zika still a concern?
MDH epidemiologist Elizabeth Schiffman discusses who should be concerned about catching Zika virus, how to avoid mosquitoes if you are traveling to an area where Zika is a threat, how to avoid infecting your pregnant partner with Zika, and where to find more information.
- Information for Health Care Professionals about Mosquitoborne Diseases (including Zika Virus)
Important information for health care professionals about Zika virus disease.
MDH staff are available to provide clinical consultation regarding testing and diagnosis of Zika virus and other mosquitoborne diseases. Call 651-201-5414 for general questions or a clinical consultation.