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What you should know about the Zika Virus:

In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil.

The outbreak led to reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes. 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.


In response, CDC has issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. SOURCE: CDC, January 28, 2016.

Level 2 Alert Definition: Follow enhanced precautions for this destination. Increased risk in defined settings or associated with specific risk factors; certain high-risk populations may wish to delay travel to these destinations

Countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission

As of January 28, 2016, the following have been identified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission.

FOR A CONTINUOUSLY UPDATED LIST, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

AMERICAS
Barbados
Bolivia
Brazil
Colombia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
French Guiana
Guadeloupe
Guatemala
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Martinique
Mexico
Panama
Paraguay
Puerto Rico
Saint Martin
Suriname
U.S. Virgin Islands
Venezuela

OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS
Samoa

AFRICA
Cape Verde

FOR A CONTINUOUSLY UPDATED LIST, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Recommendations for Pregnant Women Considering Travel to an Area of Zika Virus Transmission

Because there is neither a vaccine nor prophylactic medications available to prevent Zika virus infection, CDC recommends that all pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing (10). If a pregnant woman travels to an area with Zika virus transmission, she should be advised to strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites (11,12). Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite both indoors and outdoors, mostly during the daytime; therefore, it is important to ensure protection from mosquitoes throughout the entire day (13). Mosquito prevention strategies include wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)–registered insect repellents, using permethrin-treated clothing and gear, and staying and sleeping in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms. When used as directed on the product label, insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 are safe for pregnant women (14,15). Further guidelines for using insect repellents are available online (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/avoid-bug-bites) (11,15).

Symptoms

-About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika).
-The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
-The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
-Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days but it can be found longer in some people.
-Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
-Deaths are rare.

Diagnosis
-The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika.
-See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is found.
-If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.
-Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.

Treatment: No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections.

Treat the symptoms:

-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.
More detailed information can be found on CDC’s Zika virus web page for healthcare providers

Prevention

No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika).
-Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below).
-Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
-Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.
-When traveling to countries where Zika virus or other viruses spread by mosquitoes are found, -take the following steps:
-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.
-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.

RESOURCES:

-Disease Q&A
-For pregnant women
-Travel Notices