Symptoms of Zika virus

Learn about the symptoms of Zika virus and what to do if you become ill.

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What are the symptoms of Zika virus?

The main symptoms of Zika virus include:

  • a flat, red rash on the skin covered with small bumps
  • red eyes
  • general symptoms, such as:
    • weakness
    • headaches
    • lack of energy
  • short-term muscle or joint pain
    • possible joint swelling, mainly in the smaller joints of the hands and feet
  • low-grade fever (38.5°C or lower)

Symptoms of Zika virus can be similar to other travel-related viral diseases, such as dengue and chikungunya. However, Zika virus symptoms are typically milder. Only 1 in 4 people infected with Zika virus are believed to develop symptoms.

It usually takes between 3 to 12 days for symptoms to appear after infection. The symptoms are usually mild and last for 2 to 7 days.

What do you do if you become ill?

See a health care provider if you:

  • develop symptoms consistent with Zika virus, and
  • you or your sexual partner have travelled to an area or country reporting mosquito-spread Zika virus

This is especially important for pregnant women and those with underlying conditions such as:

  • cancer
  • type 1 diabetes
  • a weakened immune system (ability to fight infection)

Tell your health care provider where you've been travelling or living.

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