Zika infection is caused by a virus which is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus does not spread from person to person; it is not like the flu. Most infections do not cause any symptoms. When present, the most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache.
Zika virus has been reported in Africa and parts of Asia since the 1950s, and in the southwestern Pacific Ocean in 2007. In 2015, Zika virus emerged in South America with widespread outbreaks reported in Brazil and Colombia. Travellers to countries where the Zika virus is actively circulating, particularly pregnant women or those considering becoming pregnant, should protect themselves from mosquito bites. Mosquitoes known to transmit the virus to humans are not present in Canada.
Provincial Public Health officials are working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada and their counterparts in other Canadian jurisdictions to monitor the situation and to detect and manage any cases in Canada should they occur.