Zika virus

Mighty Blog

Zika virus health warnings and prevention tips

Gigi Chawla, MD
Dr. Gigi Chawla provided the latest information regarding Zika virus during an appearance on WCCO “Mid-Morning.”

Zika is a virus that is transmitted mostly by bites from infected mosquitoes of the Aedes species, which live primarily in tropical climates. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning advising pregnant women not to travel to Miami. It’s the first time the CDC has issued a travel warning for a place in the continental U.S.

Dr. Gigi Chawla, senior medical director of primary care at Children’s Minnesota, shared the latest information regarding Zika with WCCO Mid-Morning hosts Kylie Bearse and Jason DeRusha [WATCH].

How it’s transmitted

In addition to bites from infected Aedes species mosquitoes, Zika can be transmitted through:

  • Sexual activity
  • From mother to unborn child
  • It potentially could be transmitted through blood transfusions, but the risk is lower due to the precautions put in place for transfusions.


RADIO: Infectious-diseases expert Joe Kurland talks Zika virus on WCCO-AM


Tips for prevention

Just like with avoiding any other big bites:

  • Use a mosquito repellent or spray with a DEET of 30 percent or less.
  • Wear long sleeves and light-colored clothing.
  • Remove standing water around your neighborhood.

It’s important to note that 80 percent of people who acquire Zika show no symptoms. There currently is no vaccine or medication for Zika.