About Zika Virus

Zika virus is a virus spread most commonly by mosquitos. It is typically a mild illness and it’s duration ranges anywhere from several days to a week. It is uncommon that those who contract the disease require hospitalization, and it is very rarely fatal.

How is it transmitted?

Zika virus is a disease primarily spread via the bite of an infected mosquito. Though uncommon, Zika virus can also be transmitted from child to mother. Zika virus has also been detected in semen of infected men, making sexual transmission of Zika virus possible. Whether infected men who never develop symptoms can transmit the virus to their sex partners also is unknown.

Signs and symptoms

Common symptoms of Zika virus include:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint Pain
  • Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache


Methods to treat the symptoms of Zika virus include:

  • Rest
  • Drinking fluids to avoid dehydration
  • Fever/pain reducing medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to ease symptoms
  • Do NOT take aspirin or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Always consult with a healthcare provider before taking any additional medications.


The most important thing in protecting yourself against Zika virus is the prevention of mosquito bites.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Stay indoors, if possible, particularly during the day, as the breed of mosquito that carries the Zika virus feeds primarily during the day
  • Sleep under a mosquito net
  • Correctly apply and reapply mosquito repellant
  • Sexual transmission of many infections, including Zika virus, is reduced by consistent and correct use of condoms.

If Pregnant

Pregnant women and women who may become pregnant should consider postponing travel to areas where the Zika virus transmission is ongoing. The Zika virus has been found in the semen of infected men. Sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible, and is of particular concern during pregnancy.

If Sexually Active

Zika virus remains present longer in semen than in blood. Sexual transmission of many infections, including Zika virus, is reduced by consistent and correct use of latex condoms.

If you think you have Zika virus or have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed Zika virus, please contact Student Health Service 215-746-3535 and select the option to speak with a nurse.



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(updated 7/8/2016)