Zika virus in the Americas - summary

People infected with the Zika virus are being reported by the following countries:

  • Mexico: the most affected states include Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz (Agua Dulce, Puerto Veracruz and Papantlaand) and 9 other states that have reported some cases
  • Guadeloupe - reported cases are increasing
  • St Martin
  • Ecuador - increased risk in areas affected by the earthquake

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

Advice For Travellers

The absence of reports from other countries does not mean there is no zika transmission. In any particular location, it is difficult to estimate the risk of exposure since so many infected people have no symptoms and are not recorded officially.

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. Since infection with this virus usually causes no symptoms or a rather mild illness similar to flu, there may be many infected people in the community.

There is growing scientific evidence that this virus may be the cause of microcephaly (small brain) 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.

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