Countries reporting Zika virus transmission - summary in Americas

The following countries are reporting on-going transmission of the Zika virus:

  • Costa Rica - affected localities include Nicoya, Carrillo, Alajuelita.
  • Honduras - more than 19 000 cases, including 78 persons with the Gillain-Barré syndrome. Most affected departments include Cortés, Francisco Morazán, Yoro, Choluteca.
  • El Salvador - almost 6,400 cases
  • Nicaragua - most affected area is Managua
  • Panama - babies with congenital malformations reported
  • St Maarten - on-going transmission
  • St Martin - on-going transmission
  • Trinidad and Tobago - sporadic cases
  • Brazil - major epidemic in many states
  • Colombia - widespread transmission nationally. Departments of Santander and Norte de Santander affected with 5 minicipalities reporting high levels of transmission
  • Peru - few sporadic cases reported by Loreto and Cajamarca Regions
  • Venezuela - widespread transmission
  • Puerto Rico - significant levels of transmission locally
  • US Virgin Islands - sporadic cases locally

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Zika Fever.

Advice For Travellers

The risk of exposure to this virus may be high depending on where high numbers of mosquitoes infected with the virus are located. The risk of exposure for the general traveller in any particular location is difficult to estimate since so many infected people have no symptoms and are not recorded officially. There may be many infected people in the community.

The absence of reports from other countries does not mean there is no transmission of Zika virus there.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for this infection. Travellers can minimize the risk of exposure by taking all necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

There is strong scientific evidence that this virus may be the cause of microcephaly (small brain) and other neurological abnormalities in newborn infants. As a precautionary measure, women who are pregnant, especially in their first trimester, should consider postponing travel to countries where this virus is spreading or, at a minimum, take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Guillain–Barré syndrome is relatively rare condition characterized by the rapid-onset of a neurological illness with muscle weakness that may develop over half a day to four weeks and that may affect the breathing muscles.

At present, the association between Zika virus and this syndrome has not been confirmed by further scientific evidence. However, as a precautionary measure, travellers can minimize the risk of exposure to Zika virus by taking all necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites. If neurological symptoms appear after visiting areas where Zika virus is present, travellers should consult their physician immediately.

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