Skip to main content Skip to site navigation

Traveled Abroad Recently? Things to Know about Zika Virus

General information

Zika virus is primarily spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth.

Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Latin America.

Travelers returning from these areas with symptoms of Zika virus disease—fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes—should call their doctor. San Mateo County Health does not perform testing for Zika virus. State and federal laboratories that test for Zika virus only test people with symptoms, so if you think you may have been exposed to Zika virus, please call your doctor.

There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Travelers can protect themselves from this disease by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites: using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and using window and door screens.

For more information on Zika virus, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

San Mateo County Health received confirmation on April 1, 2016 from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that the first San Mateo County resident has tested positive for Zika virus. The individual was infected with Zika virus while traveling abroad and is now fully recovered. No transmission of the disease took place in the United States, and there was no risk of the virus spreading to the local community from this case. 

Please reference the CDPH website for updates every Friday afternoon for more information on Zika virus cases. There is no reason for the general public to be concerned that they are at risk for getting Zika in San Mateo County at this time. Zika virus is not circulating in our County.

Taking precautions when traveling, based on CDC guidelines, is the best means of protection from Zika.