Colleton County Fire-Rescue

Information on Zika Virus

The following information was compiled by Battalion Chief Joey Campbell, Chief Medical Officer with CCFR:

Zika Virus Information

Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually donít get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.[1]  As of April 13th 2016 there have been 358 travel associated Zika cases in the United States, but none of those cases were locally vector borne.  This means these cases were the result of travelers returning from a Zika affected area outside the United States.  Currently the CDC has not confirmed any Zika cases where the infection occurred within the United States excluding US territories.[2] Currently, South Carolina has no confirmed cases of Zika.  

About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika). Symptoms can start about 3 to 7 days after being bitten by a mosquito carrying Zika virus.[3] See your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes within 2 weeks after travelling to a place where Zika has been reported. Be sure to tell your health care provider where you travelled.  The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in some people.[4] The CDC recommends that all women who are pregnant should not travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and traveled to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission.  Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas. If travel does occur, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.[5] 


No vaccine exists to prevent Zika.  Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites.  Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.  Avoid outside activities during the times mosquito are most active such as early morning and late evening.  The use of long sleeved shirts and pants along with EPA approved insect repellent helps reduce the likelihood of a mosquito bite.   Mosquitoes breed in water, and eliminating standing pools of water around your home or treating standing water that cannot be eliminated is effective in preventing breeding of the mosquitoes that transmit Zika.  Dumping water from outside bowls, basins, bird baths, tires or any other item that may hold water is eliminates the medium necessary for mosquitoes to breed.  Water treatments are available at hardware stores that effectively reduce mosquito breeding in standing water that cannot be removed.

For more information on Zika go to:



[2] etal.