Frequently Asked Questions About Zika
- For the Public
Q: How do I know if I have Zika?
A: To find out if you have Zika, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and any recent travel to an area with risk of Zika. Your doctor may also ask if you had sex without a condom with someone that lives in or traveled to an area with Zika. If your doctor thinks that you may have Zika, he or she can collect blood or urine to test for Zika and other viruses.
Q: Should pregnant women travel to areas with risk of Zika?
A: Pregnant women should not travel to an area with a current outbreak of Zika. Pregnant women should talk to their doctor before traveling to any area with past or current spread of Zika, but without a current outbreak. Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a baby to have severe birth defects.
Q: Should I worry about traveling to an area with a current outbreak or risk of Zika if neither I nor my partner is pregnant or planning to become pregnant?
A: If you are traveling to an area with a current outbreak or risk of Zika, you can become infected with Zika. The federal CDC has issued travel recommendations for people traveling to areas with a CDC Zika Travel Notice. Many people with Zika have mild or no symptoms. You should be careful during and after travel to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika.
Q: Is it safe to get pregnant if I or my partner recently went to an area with risk of Zika?
A: If you are trying to become pregnant and were possibly exposed to Zika virus, the chart below shows the suggested time periods to wait before trying to become pregnant. During the waiting period, couples should use condoms from start to finish every time or not have sex.
Possible exposure to Zika virus through unprotected sex or travel to an area with Zika virus
Wait at least 8 weeks after symptoms start or after last possible exposure.
Wait at least 3 months after symptoms start or after last possible exposure.
The waiting period is different between men and women because Zika stays in semen longer than other bodily fluids.
Q: I am not pregnant, but will my future pregnancies be at risk if I am infected with Zika virus?
A: Currently, there is no evidence that a woman who has recovered from Zika virus infection will have Zika-related pregnancy problems in the future. It is thought that once a person was infected with Zika virus, he or she is likely to be protected from future Zika infections.
Q: I just returned from an area with risk of Zika, can I be tested?
A: See your doctor if you have symptoms of Zika and traveled to an area with risk of Zika. Your doctor may order tests to look for Zika or similar viruses.
Q: Where can I go in Maine to get tested for Zika virus?
A: You should see your doctor if you develop Zika symptoms and have traveled to an area with risk of Zika or had unprotected sex with someone who lives in or has traveled to an area with risk of Zika. If your doctor decides that you should be tested, he or she will tell you how to get tested.
Q: Where can I go to learn more about protecting myself from Zika?
A: Please visit our Zika homepage section on "How to Prevent Zika" to learn how you can protect yourself from getting Zika.
Q: Should I be concerned about local spread of Zika in Maine?
A: Although it is possible that Maine may see local spread of Zika in the future, the mosquitoes that can carry Zika are currently not present in the state.
Q: What is Maine CDC doing about Zika?
A: Maine CDC's work includes monitoring and reporting cases of Zika, providing information and education to the public, and teaching healthcare providers how to identify Zika and when to test their patients.