What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus and Travel

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This particular travel information is quite important for anyone traveling outside the continental U.S. to international destinations and U.S. territories. It is too important for you to have adequate information before you make plans to travel. This is because Zika has successfully persisted in being a problem in many regions of the world. Despite this, there is no vaccine just yet to prevent the infection. The spread continues mostly when bitten by the infected mosquito of Aedes species. It is even more disastrous if it is passed from a pregnant woman to the baby in her as it can cause infections, which will result in certain birth defects.

Before making any plan to travel, it is essential to review your travel destination carefully. Your plans and ability to protect yourself against mosquito bites must be established. It is left to you to decide to delay or cancel your trip. However, the CDC suggests that a health care provider must be consulted in making a travel decision by pregnant women and couples planning to get pregnant within three months.

It is a good thing to know that there is no current outbreak of the virus in the world. However, strict measures must still be taken in protection against the virus when traveling to some parts of the world. If there is any reported outbreak, it is recommended that no pregnant woman travels.

For a woman planning to get pregnant, she should consult a health care provider for adequate information about potential risks, however, if it is a must to travel to such destinations, prevention of mosquito bites, and sexual intercourse during and after the travel. If the travel is without the male partner, she should wait for two months after return before getting pregnant.

A man with a pregnant partner should prevent mosquito bites during and after the travel. Abstinence or use of condoms is advised for the rest of the pregnancy.

For a man with a partner intending to get pregnant, it is essential to avoid bites from mosquitoes during and after the travel. For sex, use of condoms is advised or wait for at least three months after return before having sex.

In summary, all travelers should prevent themselves from mosquito bites during and after the travel.

The following list contains areas with current or past transmission of the virus but no reported outbreaks: American Samoa, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Easter Island, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Senegal, Singapore, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Uganda, United States (Continental US), United States Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Venezuela andVietnam.

For travelers to these areas, the primary form of protection is the prevention of mosquito bites. Pregnant women should speak with a health care provider for proper education on potential risks and how to protect against transmission through mosquito bites and sexual exposure.

Women who are planning to get pregnant should also consult a health care provider for appropriate information about potential risks, prevention of mosquito bites, and sexual intercourse during and after the travel. If she will travel without the male partner, abstinence from sex for two months after return before getting pregnant is recommended.

If a man is traveling with a pregnant partner, they should prevent mosquito bites during and after the travel. The use of condoms or no sex at all is advised for the rest of the pregnancy.

For a couple with the intention of getting pregnant, it is of utmost importance that they avoid bites from mosquitoes during and after the travel. It is also advised that condoms are used if they will have sex or wait for at least three months after return before having sex.

The next list contains regions of the world with the mosquito species causing the disease but no reported case of Zika virus disease: Australia, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Chad, China, Christmas Island, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, East Timor, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Georgia, Ghana, Guam, Guinea, Kenya, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Madeira Islands, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Taiwan, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Tokelau, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Wallis and Futuna, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

All travelers, most especially pregnant women, should avoid mosquito bites.

Finally, this list contains areas that do not have the mosquitoes that spread the virus: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Azores, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Indian Ocean Territory, Bulgaria, Canada, Canary Islands, Chile, Cocos Islands, Comoros, Corsica, Croatia, Crozet Islands, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Eswatini, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Finland, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kerguelen Islands, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, North Korea, North Macedonia, Norway, Pitcairn Islands, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Saint Helena, Saint Paul and New Amsterdam Islands, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, San Marino, São Tomé and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Wake Island, Western Sahara.

For US residents traveling abroad, no Zika precaution is recommended.