Zika virus in the Americas - summary

Transmission of the Zika virus continues in the Americas:

Mexico and Central America

Transmission is continuing in Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador (more than 31,000 cases), Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Caribbean (including tourist destinations)

The following countries are reporting variable numbers of infected people: Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, Puerto Rico (31,500 cases), Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica (most cases in Caribbean), Grenada, Guyana, Saint Kits and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Virgin Islands (UK), Virgin Islands (US).

South America

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil (over 200,000 cases), Colombia (almost 100,000 cases), Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela.

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

Advice For Travellers

Most of the people infected with the Zika virus do not have any symptoms and are not registered in official statistics. Because the information reported by any country is very incomplete, the risk of exposure for the general traveller in any particular location is difficult to estimate. The risk of exposure to this virus may be high from place to place. 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 is the cause of microcephaly (small brain) and other neurological abnormalities in newborn infants. The World Health Organization advises that pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika virus outbreaks. Pregnant women whose sexual partners live in or travel to areas with Zika virus outbreaks should ensure safe sexual practices or abstain from sex for the duration of their pregnancy.