A note directly from the CDC…
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 May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging pregnant women — at any stage of pregnancy — to consider postponing travel to 22 destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean where a virus linked to birth defects is reportedly being transmitted through mosquito bites.
The countries impacted by this Level 2 travel notice are Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Venezuela, Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Guyana, Cape Verde and Samoa. While the virus causes only a mild illness in most people, there is mounting evidence linking it to a birth defect, especially in Brazil.
The CDC also advises women who are contemplating or trying to get pregnant to talk to their doctor before traveling to those areas and to take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Your customers, especially those with international flights, may have questions about the disease and its ability to spread while traveling. You may want to direct them to CDC.gov/travel/notices.
CDC recommends special precautions for the following groups:
- Women who are pregnant (in any trimester):
- Consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
- If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
- Women who are trying to become pregnant:
- Before you travel, talk to your doctor about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection.
- Strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
Please use precaution and stay up-to-date on the latest updates directly on the CDC web site here.