Zika virus transmission is continuing in many countries in the Americas

Persons infected with the Zika virus are currently reported by the following countries:

  • Mexico - affected states include Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Veracruz, Yucatán.
  • Honduras - also reporting sporadic cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Panama - possible cases of microcephaly; most affected local area is comarca Guna Yala

In the Caribbean:

  • Cuba - all but one person was infected abroad, but the right type of mosquito is present for transmission

  • Dominican Republic - also reporting sporadic cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome

  • Martinique - all localities affected except Lorrain; also reporting sporadic cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome and possible microcephaly

  • Puerto Rico - also reporting sporadic cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome

  • St. Lucia - local transmission is occurring

  • Trinidad and Tobago - local transmission is occurring

  • US Virgin Islands - local transmission is occurring

  • In South America:

  • Bolivia - cases reported in Santa Cruz

  • Brazil - many states affected; many cases of microcephaly

  • Colombia - many cases in various departments; both microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome reported

In the Pacific

  • Fiji - local transmission has been confirmed

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

Advice For Travellers

As the virus spreads through the mosquitoes, 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. However, in many countries, the risk can be very high. The lack of reports from other countries does not mean there is no transmission of this virus in those countries.

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 is 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.

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. If neurological symptoms appear after visiting areas where Zika virus is present, travellers should consult their physician immediately.

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