CDC travel warnings: Zika virus in Latin America causes birth defects

The Center for Diseases Control posted travel health alerts on January 15, 2016 advising travelers to certain Latin American countries to protect themselves against mosquito bites due to a recent outbreak of Zika virus. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika virus.

The outbreak of Zika virus in Latin America is of particular concern due to its link to birth defects.

CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant:

  • Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who must travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
  • Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

 

 

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Adult female yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus), in the process of seeking out a penetrable site on the skin surface of its host. Photograph by James Gathany, Center for Disease Control Public Health Image Library.

 

References:

What to Know About Zika Virus, The Atlantic. Accessed 1/19/2016 http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/01/what-to-know-about-zika-virus/424194/

Travel Health Notices, Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 1/19/2016 http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices