The Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting up to a week, and many people do not have symptoms or will have only mild symptoms.
However, a Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe brain defects.
Zika can be transmitted through the following ways:
- Mosquito bites
- From a pregnant woman to her fetus
- Blood transfusion (very likely but not confirmed)