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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with other public health officials to monitor for ongoing Zika virus transmission. Today, the CDC added the following destinations to the Zika virus travel notices: Trinidad and Tobago and the Marshall Islands. The CDC has issued a travel notice (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. For a full list of affected countries/regions, visit: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information/. Specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to continue to change over time.
As more information becomes available, CDC travel notices will be updated. Travelers to areas where cases of Zika virus infection have been recently confirmed are at risk of being infected with the Zika virus. Mosquitoes that spread Zika are aggressive daytime biters. They also bite at night. There is no vaccine or medicine available for Zika virus. The best way to avoid Zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites.
Some travelers to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission will become infected while traveling but will not become sick until they return home and they might not have any symptoms. To stop the spread of Zika, travelers should use insect repellent for three weeks after travel to prevent mosquito bites.
Some people who are infected do not have any symptoms. People who do have symptoms have reported fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Other commonly reported symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and the number of deaths is low. Travelers to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission should monitor for symptoms or illness upon return. If they become sick, they should tell their healthcare professional where they have traveled and when.
Until more is known, CDC continues to recommend that pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant take the following precautions.
• Consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
• If you must travel to or live in one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
• If you have a male partner who lives in or has traveled to an area where Zika transmission is ongoing, either abstain from sex or use condoms consistently and correctly for the duration of your pregnancy.
Women trying to get pregnant
• Before you or your male partner travel, talk to your healthcare provider about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection.
• You and your male partner should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has been reported in patients with probable Zika virus infection in French Polynesia and Brazil. Research efforts underway will also examine the link between Zika and GBS.