Zika virus reports in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean

Sporadic cases and outbreaks of Zika virus infections are currently being reported by the following countries:

Mexico - reported 121 cases; affected states include Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Veracruz.
Costa Rica - 8 cases.
Honduras - approximately 10,000 cases

Caribbean

  • US Virgin Islands - 72 cases; affected islands include St Croix, St Thomas, St John.
  • Trinidad and Tobago - 3 cases.
  • Cuba - although the reported case was infected outside Cuba, there is a risk of transmission in Cuba because of the presence of the correct mosquito for transmitting this virus.
  • St Maarten - 2 cases, locally acquired.
  • Martinique - 7,600 cases.
  • Guadeloupe - 389 cases.

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

Advice For Travellers

Since approximately 80% of the people who are infected with this virus experience no symptoms, it is difficult to assess how widely this virus has spread in any population. In this alert, countries are reporting anywhere from a few cases to thousands of cases, but the risk of exposure may be high even where only 1 or 2 cases have been reported.

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 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 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.

Although the association between Zika virus and the development of the Guillian-Barre Syndrome has not been confirmed by further scientific evidence, there is increasing concern that Zika may be implicated. If neurological symptoms appear after visiting areas where Zika virus is present, travellers should consult their physician immediately.

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