Zika virus disease has been in the news for several weeks now and has many individuals concerned. Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, though there also have been reports of transmission through sexual contact. The disease can cause fever, rash, muscle aches, joint pain and red eyes. Zika virus disease has also been linked to birth defects, including microcephaly and other poor birth outcomes in some women infected during their pregnancy. There have been no known cases in New Mexico to date.

“We’re encouraging health care providers around the state to know the signs and symptoms of Zika virus and give out correct information to their patients,” said New Mexico Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “We also want New Mexicans, especially pregnant women, to heed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel advisories to not travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission for the duration of their pregnancy.”

A list of countries with active Zika virus transmission can be found on the CDC website at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information