Because local transmission of Zika virus has been reported on the Caribbean island of Aruba, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice today for travelers to the island.
Local mosquito transmission means that mosquitoes in the area are infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people.
According to the Aruba Department of Public Health (computer translated), there has been four Zika virus cases reported as of Feb. 19, three residents of Aruba and one Dutch traveler.
Because Zika virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes, CDC recommends that travelers to Aruba protect themselves from mosquito bites.
In addition, sexual transmission of Zika virus from a male partner is also possible, so travelers are also encouraged to use condoms or not have sex.
There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites: Covering exposed skin, using EPA-registered insect repellents, stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside and sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.
Men who have traveled to an area with Zika should use condoms to protect their sex partners. If the man’s partner is pregnant, the couple should either use condoms the right way every time or not have sex during the pregnancy.