Zika Virus Travel Health Notice

 

We would like to advise you that on January 15, 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) upgraded its Zika virus travel health notices to Alert Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions). The notice currently applies to certain countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Pacific Islands. The list of affected countries is expected to expand, so please regularly review the CDC website: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.

Zika virus is spread primarily through infected mosquitoes which mainly bite during daytime hours. It is not transmitted from person to person. Symptoms of Zika typically develop 3-12 days after being bitten and may include fever, headache, skin rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild, with symptoms lasting from 2-7 days.

There is no vaccine to prevent Zika, however you can reduce your risk of contracting Zika by applying an approved insect repellent and wearing a loose, long-sleeved shirt and long pants to minimize the likelihood of being bitten. Comprehensive health information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.

Although serious complications and deaths are uncommon, recent increases in birth anomalies are being reported in areas where Zika virus outbreaks have occurred. Knowledge of the link between Zika and these outcomes is still evolving. For this reason, the CDC travel health advisory particularly impacts women who are pregnant (in any trimester), and women who are trying to become pregnant. The alert specifically recommends that women who are pregnant in any trimester consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

For more information and travel advice regarding Zika virus infection and pregnancy, we encourage you to review the CDC’s frequently asked questions webpage at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/question-answers.html