The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is ramping up efforts to warn people about Zika as we edge closer to mosquito season.
A two-day CDC Vector summit gets underway in Atlanta Monday. Experts from the United States and around the world are in Atlanta to discuss current mosquito control practices.
Janet McAllister, Ph.D. Division of Vector-Borne Diseases with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the experts will be looking at how the current practices might be best used or tailored to combat Zika if local transmission occurs again.
"It's going to require humans to re-introduce it (Zika),” says McAllister. She says they are continuing to do surveillance and tracking the virus in the United States.
A person can contract Zika through a bite from an infected Aedes mosquito or through sexual contact with a person with the virus.
Where a person lives, their travel history, and the travel history of their sex partner(s) can affect the chances of getting Zika. The CDC warns pregnant women to avoid traveling to areas where Zika is spreading.
Many people infected with Zika virus will not have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.
Other symptoms include muscle pain and headache. Symptoms can last for several days to a week.
People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. Once a person has been infected with Zika, they are likely to be protected from future infections.
The big concern with Zika is birth defects. Infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.
Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth.