New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.

Zika Virus

Zika is the virus that causes Zika virus disease. The virus is mainly spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Only certain kinds of mosquitoes are able to transmit the virus. About four out of five people infected with Zika virus will have no signs or symptoms of illness. The people who do become ill may have fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms are usually mild and last from a few days to a week. It is rare for a person with Zika virus infection to become severely ill or be hospitalized.

Zika virus infection can cause birth defects or miscarriage in some pregnant women who are exposed early in their pregnancies. There have also been reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome following Zika virus infection. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare but serious disorder that affects nerves and can cause a number of complications including paralysis, respiratory distress, and rarely death.


Activity in New Mexico

New Mexico has had no reported cases of Zika virus disease in 2018.

There were no reported cases of Zika virus disease in New Mexico in 2017 and 10 reported cases of Zika virus disease in 2016. Of the 10 cases in 2016, all were in travelers who were infected abroad and diagnosed after they returned home.

2016 Case Counts by County

UPDATED: January 17, 2018 — Zika case data is updated on Wednesday afternoons.

News Articles

Read the following news releases for more information.


Transmission

Zika virus infection is mainly acquired through the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes are infected by feeding on a person who has the virus. There are only two kinds of mosquito in the United States that are able to transmit Zika virus: Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito). These mosquitoes are also capable of transmitting other diseases to people, such as dengue and chikungunya viruses. These two species of mosquitoes like to live near people, either indoors or outdoors, and mostly bite during the daytime. They can sometimes be distinguished by their bold black-and-white markings, which are different from the gray or brown color of most other kinds of mosquitoes.

Aedes aegypti

Magnified photo of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Aedes albopictus

Magnified photo of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

NOTE: If you have seen black and white mosquitoes that bite during the day in New Mexico, take a clear photograph and email it as an attachment to us at our doh-zoonoses@state.nm.us address. Please be sure to include when and where you saw the mosquito.

Mosquito bites are the main way that Zika virus is transmitted. It can also be transmitted from a mother to her fetus during pregnancy or to her baby at the time of delivery. There have been no reports of infants becoming infected with Zika virus through breastfeeding.

Zika virus can be spread through blood transfusions. Because of this, American blood banks screen donated blood and may defer certain people from donating. There is also a risk of Zika virus transmission through sexual contact. Visit the Interim Guidance for Preventing Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus page to see the latest CDC recommendations for the prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus.


Are New Mexicans at Risk?

ImageThe two mosquito species in the United States that can transmit Zika virus have been found in some parts of southern New Mexico. If a person gets infected with the virus while in an area with Zika virus transmission and then goes to a part of New Mexico where Aedes aegypti or Ae. albopictus mosquitoes are present, those mosquitoes could become infected with the virus by biting the infected person and could then spread the infection to other people they bite. To prevent this from happening, the New Mexico Department of Health recommends that anyone who has traveled to a Zika-affected area in the previous two weeks protect themselves against mosquito bites by following the precautions listed below.


Protection against Mosquitoes at Home and Abroad

Visit the CDC Zika Virus Travel Information page for up-to-date information about where Zika virus is present. People can protect themselves from Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases by following these prevention suggestions:

Visit the Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods page for more information on mosquito bite prevention.


Guidance for Health Care Providers

This page contains a variety of resources on Zika virus for healthcare providers.The latest CDC guidance for the clinical evaluation and diagnosis of Zika virus can be found on the Zika Virus Information for Healthcare Providers page.

For more information about submitting patient samples for Zika virus testing, please contact the New Mexico Department of Health Epidemiology and Response Division Reporting & Surveillance hotline at 505-827-0006.

Zika Care Connect is a program designed to help pregnant women and infants diagnosed with Zika virus infection. Explore the Zika Care Connect Factsheet or visit the Zika Care Connect website for information about accessing care and a help line.


Preparedness and Response Plan

ImageThe New Mexico Department of Health All-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan Functional Annex: Zika Preparedness and Response Plan describes the management and coordination of DOH resources and personnel during periods of public health emergencies, disasters or events. Planning teams, comprised of subject matter experts, planners and representatives of stakeholder organizations contributed to this plan.

This plan incorporates guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency. It also builds on lessons learned from planned events, disasters, emergencies, trainings, and exercises.


Informational Materials

Please use the materials below to help us raise awareness about the Zika virus.

Brochure

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Top 5 Things to Know About Zika