How to Prevent Getting or Spreading the Zika Virus

  • Preventing Mosquito Bites
    • Use insect repellents consistently and correctly
      • Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide the most long-lasting protection
      • If you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent
      • Do not apply insect repellent on the skin under your clothing
      • Treat clothing with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated clothing
      • Always follow the label instructions when using insect repellent or sunscreen
    • When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
    • Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net
    • Help reduce the number of mosquitoes inside and outside your home or hotel room by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets
  • Preventing Sexual Transmission
    • Not having sex eliminates the risk of getting Zika from sex (abstinence).
    • Condoms can reduce the chance of getting Zika from sex if used correctly from start to finish, every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral (mouth-to-penis) sex
    • Dental dams (latex or polyurethane sheets) may also be used for certain types of oral sex (mouth to vagina or mouth to anus)
    • Not sharing sex toys may reduce the risk of spreading Zika to sex partners

For women who have had possible exposure via recent travel or sex without a condom with a partner infected with Zika, it is recommended that they wait at least 8 weeks after symptoms start or last possible exposure before trying to become pregnant. For men, it is recommended that they wait at least 6 months after symptoms start or last possible exposure.
For people living in or traveling to areas with Zika, women with a positive Zika test, it is recommended to wait it at least 8 weeks after symptoms start before trying to become pregnant. Men are advised to wait at least 6 months after symptoms start before trying to become pregnant.

All pregnant women with sex partners who live in or have traveled to an area with Zika should use condoms during sex or abstain from sex for the rest of their pregnancy.