Zika Virus Information

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Travel Advisory

Due to recent reports in Brazil of increased incidence of microencephaly among babies born to women infected with Zika virus during pregnancy, pregnant women who have plans to travel to the American Tropics should consult with their medical providers and consider postponing travel.  Affected countries include American Samoa, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haití, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Samoa, Suriname, Tonga, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.  In addition, there have been cases of locally acquired Zika virus in the Mexican states of Chiapas, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, and Sinaloa.  Pregnant women who must travel to these areas should use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of eucalyptus, or para-menthanie-diol.  Other precautions such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants and using mosquito bed nets are also recommended.

Signs and Symptoms

Most people infected with Zika virus do not have any symptoms at all.  Among those who do, the most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The illness is us ually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.  Severe disease causing hospitalization or death is rare.

Transmission (How it Spreads)

Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. These are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.  Aedes mosquitos are aggressive daytime biters, prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near people.  Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.

Rarely, Zika virus can be transmitted from a mother to her baby.  A mother already infected with Zika virus near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn around the time of birth, but this is rare.  This mode of transmission is being investigated.  To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding.  Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found.

Spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact have been reported and is being investigated.

Testing and Treatment

Zika virus is diagnosed after reviewing symptoms and travel history.  A blood test is available to help diagnosis Zika virus infection.

There are no medications that treat Zika virus directly.  People who are infected and have symptoms should:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Take medicines, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain
  • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin and NSAIDs should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage (bleeding). If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
  • If you have Zika, avoid mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.  During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites.  An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.


No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections.  Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites when traveling to countries where Zika virus is present:

  • Use insect repellents. When used as directed, insect repellents are safe and effective for everyone, including pregnant and nursing women.  Most insect repellents can be used on children.  Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus in children under the age of three years.  Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide long lasting protection.
  • If you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent. Do not spray 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.

For More Information

Monterey County Health Department

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Measles Information


Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. The disease of measles and the virus that causes it share the same name. The disease is also called rubeola. Measles virus normally grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and lungs.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of measles generally begin about 7-14 days after a person is infected. A typical case of measles begins with mild to moderate fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and sore throat. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik’s spots) may appear inside the mouth.

Three to five days after the start of symptoms, a red or reddish-brown rash appears. The rash usually begins on a person’s face at the hairline and spreads downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.


About 1 out of 10 children with measles also gets an ear infection, and up to 1 out of 20 gets pneumonia. About 1 out of 1,000 gets meningitis (inflammation of the brain), and 1 or 2 out of 1,000 die. Other rash- causing diseases often confused with measles include roseola (roseola infantum) and rubella (German measles).

While measles is almost gone from the United States, it still kills nearly 200,000 people each year around the world. Measles can also make a pregnant woman have a miscarriage or give birth prematurely.


Measles is highly contagious and can be spread to others from 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected with the measles virus.

The virus lives in the mucus in the nose and throat of the infected person. When that person sneezes or coughs, droplets spray into the air. The droplets can get into other people’s noses or throats when they breathe or put their fingers in their mouth or nose after touching an infected surface. The virus can live on infected surfaces for up to 2 hours and spreads so easily that people who are not immune will probably get it when they come close to someone who is infected.


The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) is the best way to protect against getting measles. Children should be given the first dose of MMR vaccine soon after the first birthday (12 to 15 months of age). The second dose is recommended before the start of the kindergarten. Adults at increased risk of getting measles — college students, international travelers and healthcare workers — should make sure they have been vaccinated against measles.

Stay up to date with the latest information from the following websites:

Centers for Disease Control

Monterey County Health Department:

Ebola Information

Natividad Medical Center is taking the current Ebola outbreak very seriously. Although it is unlikely that NMC will treat an Ebola patient, it is important that we are prepared and staff is trained in accordance with, at minimum, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) most current guidelines. 

Ebola Virus: Key Facts

  • There have been approximately 20 ebola outbreaks since discovery in 1976-the current is the largest to date and will continue for months
  • Despite the current Ebola outbreak, most travelers returning from West Africa with fever are much more likely to have common illnesses, such as malaria and typhoid
  • Detailed travel history within the last 21 days is key to identifying suspect cases
  • Asymptomatic patients are NOT infectious; infectiousness increases throughout duration of illness:
    • Low Risk of infectiousness during first few days of illness
    • High Risk at terminal stages of illness when copious secretions are present
  • Transmission is through direct contact with bodily fluids, or objects in contact with bodily fluids; no airborne transmission
  • All bodily fluids should be considered; personal protective equipment (PPE) is effective if used properly
    • Removing PPE correctly is critical to avoid self-contamination
    • Always wash your hands after removing all PPE for a minimum of 15-20 seconds
  • Ebola is susceptible to traditional hospital disinfectants and alcohol based hand rub
    • Strict adherence to Hand Hygiene practices is critical
  • Investigative treatments and vaccines are in fast-track development
NMC’s ebola management plan continues to be refined utilizing CDC guidance for initial detection and management of suspect or confirmed cases in collaboration with the Monterey County Health Department team and the California Department of Public Health.  Signs have been placed around the hospital in areas where potential patients and visitors may have a chance to view them to notify Hospital staff immediately if they have traveled to Guinea, Sierra Leone, or Liberia in West Africa or have been in contact with someone who has traveled to these countries within the last 21 days.
Training continues for at-risk employees at potential patient entrance points throughout the hospital (ED, Labor & Delivery and Outpatient Clinics) on the procedure for putting on (donning) and removing (doffing) personal protective equipment (PPE)  utilizing CDC’s recommendations and best practices from other resource hospitals.

Stay up to date with the latest accurate news on Ebola from the following websites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 

Monterey County Health Department: 


Natividad Medical Center • 1441 Constitution Blvd. • Salinas, CA 93906 • (831) 755-4111