Health Alerts

Current Alerts

February 1, 2016

The information provided in this document is taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. Information is being updated on a regular basis; please make sure to follow the links for the most current information available. For the most current information available about the Zika virus please go here.

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Approximately 1 in 5 individuals infected will develop symptoms, most commonly fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Zika Travel Information
CDC Travel notices are used to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues related to specific areas. Issues may come up because of a disease outbreak, special event, natural disaster, or other condition that may affect travelers’ health. As of February 1, 2016, CDC listed an Alert Level 2 for Central America, South America, Caribbean, Samoa, Cape Verde, and Mexico. This means that enhanced precautions are encouraged for travelers to these areas. These precautions are related to mosquito avoidance and include:

  • Covering exposed skin
  • Using EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535. EPA registered repellents may be used by pregnant and nursing women according to label instructions.
  • Using permethrin-treated clothing and gear
  • Staying and sleeping in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms

For the most up-to-date Zika Travel Information please check here.

Zika and Pregnancy
Reports have emerged in Brazil of microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes, in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. However, additional studies are needed to further characterize this relationship. In the meantime, Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who do travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip. Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.


Additional Resources

CDC’s TravWell and “Can I Eat This?” apps help travelers plan for a safe and healthy international trip and make smart food and water choices while they travel.

CDC Health Information for International Travel 2016” (commonly called the Yellow Book) serves as a reference for those who advise international travelers about health risks.