Zika virus in the Americas - summary

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

  • Argentina - local transmission is occurring
  • Belize - first case detected in this country
  • Brazil - widespread transmission
  • Colombia - extensive spread, initially from Bolivar Department to the rest of the country where 747 municipalities have reported cases.
  • Costa Rica - most affected municipality is Jaco in Puntarenas province.
  • Martinique - 1,600 newly infected people in just 1 week; death of an elderly patient associated with Zika infection
  • French Guiana - increase of 300 cases in 1 week
  • Guadeloupe - increase of 418 cases last week
  • St Martin - increasing trend
  • St Barthélemy - 1 case confirmed.
  • Dominican Republic - almost 2,500 suspected cases
  • Dominica - local transmission is occurring
  • Venezuela - high transmission in Miranda State.

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

Advice For Travellers

There are 39 countries and territories that have confirmed local transmission of Zika virus in the Region of the Americas since 2015. The risk of exposure to this virus may be high in many localities, but the risk of exposure for the general traveller in any particular location is difficult to estimate. 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.

The following countries have reported Zika virus disease in pregnant women: Barbados, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Ecuador, Martinique Saint Martin, Bolivia, El Salvador, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, French Guiana, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guadeloupe, Panama,Dominica, Guatemala, and Paraguay.

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