Zika Virus Travel Alerts Updated For 90 Countries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated Alert Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions, notices for several countries regarding Zika outbreaks on August 7, 2018.
These CDC travel alerts include countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, the Pacific Islands, and South America.
Because Zika infection during pregnancy can cause birth defects, pregnant women should not travel to these countries, says the CDC.
This advice is important since on August 7th, the CDC reported a Zika virus infection during pregnancy might be associated with neurodevelopmental abnormalities.
This CDC report said nearly 1 in 7 babies born to women infected with the Zika virus while pregnant had one or more health problems, possibly caused by the virus.
All travelers to these Zika hot-Zones should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during and after the trip.
Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes bite during the day and night.
The mosquitoes that spread Zika usually live in locations below 6,500 feet in elevation. The chances of getting Zika from mosquitoes living above that altitude are very low, reports the CDC.
Zika Virus Hot-Zones include these countries:
- Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda
- Asia: Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Vietnam
- The Caribbean: Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Barbados; Bonaire; British Virgin Islands; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Haiti; Jamaica; Montserrat; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a US territory; Saba; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sint Eustatius; Sint Maarten; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; US Virgin Islands
- Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
- North America: Mexico
- The Pacific Islands: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga
- South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
Additionally, the CDC reports in the USA and its territories, the state of California (14) and Puerto Rico (72) have reported the most Zika virus cases during 2018.
As of August 11, 2018, there is not an approved preventive vaccine or treatment medication for the Zika virus.