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Division of Disease Control

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Diagnosis of Zika

Only about one in five people who are infected with Zika virus have any symptoms, and if they do, the symptoms usually start within a week. The symptoms are typically mild and last for a few days or up to a week. People who become ill with Zika infection may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Skin rash
  • Joint aches and pain
  • Red, scratchy eyes (conjunctivitis)

Severe Zika Virus Disease

Although extremely rare, severe neurologic complications can also occur:

  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome (a type of paralysis)
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis

Risk & Transmission

People who have traveled recently to areas with active Zika virus transmission or have another possible exposure (e.g., unprotected sex with a traveler ) are at risk for getting Zika infection. See your doctor or health care provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area with Zika .

There are other ways of developing Zika virus infection in addition to traveling to an area with local transmission. Possible routes of Zika virus transmission include:

  • Mosquito bite
  • Sexual transmission
  • Blood transfusion
  • Tissue or organ transplantation
  • Laboratory exposure
  • Mother-to-child transmission


Pregnant women who have traveled to areas with active Zika transmission or have another possible exposure (e.g., unprotected sex with a traveler) should be screened and tested for Zika infection, even if they do not have symptoms.

For anyone who develops Zika symptoms (fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes) within two weeks of travel, or within two weeks of another risk exposure (e.g., unprotected sex with a returning traveler), testing should be performed even if they no longer have symptoms.

If you have questions about testing for Zika, contact the Health Department at 215-685-6742 during business hours.


Currently, there is no medication to treat Zika. Treatment consists of supportive care, such as rest, drinking fluids, and medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to reduce fever and pain.

Once a person has recovered from Zika, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections. However, there is no vaccine to prevent infection with Zika at the present time.

CDC: Symptoms, Testing, and Treatment

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