What travellers need to know about Zika

Zika virus likely to spread throughout Americas
The World Health Organisation warns that Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, is likely to spread rapidly to all countries in the Americas except for Canada and Chile.
Zika fever itself is usually mild, often without symptoms. However, pregnant women or women who are trying to become pregnant have been cautioned against travel to Zika-affected regions due to risk of birth defects. The virus has been linked to brain deformities in babies.
Normally symptoms are similar to dengue fever, such as mild fever, a bumpy rash, headaches, joint pain and conjunctivitis, and can last up to seven days. Anyone affected should drink lots of fluids, rest regularly and use common medicines. There is no vaccine to stop or treat Zika.
Countries affected are: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, Venezuela. A map on the Pan American Health Organisation website is updated weekly.
To the question “Should I cancel my holiday?”, The Guardian answers: “Only if you are pregnant. Nathnac (the government travel health advisory body) recommends that pregnant women should ‘consider avoiding travel’ to areas where Zika outbreaks are currently reported. If travel is unavoidable, or you live in areas where Zika is reported, you should take scrupulous insect bite avoidance measures, both during daytime and night time hours. Remember to inform your obstetrician or midwife if you have recently travelled to a country where Zika is known to occur. Other travellers should take basic precautions to prevent bites.”
The Guardian


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