Zika Virus Un-invited Guest on Montserrat
Federal health officials have issued a Zika virus advisory notice for travelers to the Caribbean island of Montserrat.
Officials have reported local mosquitoes infected with the Zika may be spreading the virus to people.
Additionally, the Center of Disease and Control (CDC) has posted a Zika virus travel notice for Montserrat, and issued travel notices (level 2, “practice enhanced precautions”) for people traveling to destinations with Zika.
For a full list of affected countries/regions, visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information. As more information becomes available, the CDC’s travel notices will be updated.
There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika virus.
The best way to avoid Zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites. Some travelers to areas with Zika will become infected while traveling but will not become sick until they return home, or they might not have any symptoms.
People who do have symptoms have reported fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The sickness is usually mild with symptoms that last from several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.
The CDC has received reports of Zika virus being spread through sex with sick returning travelers. Until more is known, CDC continues to recommend that pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant should not travel to any area with Zika. If you do travel to an area with Zika, you and your partner should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
Current CDC research suggests that Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is strongly associated with Zika; however, only a small proportion of people with recent Zika virus infection get GBS.
Most people fully recover from GBS, but some have permanent damage. GBS is a rare disorder that can cause muscle weakness and paralysis for a few weeks to several months, is very likely triggered by Zika in a small proportion of infections, much as it is after a variety of other infections. Most people fully recover from GBS, but some have permanent damage.
The CDC is continuing to investigate the link between GBS and Zika.