Public health officials have reported that mosquitoes in Palau are infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for the Pacific archipelago of over 500 islands.
Travelers to areas with active Zika virus transmission who have not already been infected with Zika virus can get it from mosquito bites. Mosquitoes that spread Zika bite during the day and night. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika virus. The best way to avoid Zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites. Zika virus can also be passed through sex.
Some travelers to areas with Zika will become infected while traveling but will not become sick until they return home, or they might not have any symptoms. To help stop the spread of Zika, travelers should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for three weeks after travel to areas with Zika.
Some people who are infected do not have any symptoms. People who do have symptoms have reported fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The sickness is usually mild with symptoms that last from several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. Travelers to areas with Zika should monitor for symptoms or sickness upon return. If they become sick, they should tell their healthcare professional when and where they have traveled.
CDC has received reports of Zika virus being spread through sex with sick returning travelers. Until more is known, CDC continues to recommend that pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant take the following precautions:
· Should not travel to any area with Zika.
· If you must travel to or live in one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
· If you or your partner live in or travel to an area with Zika, use condoms, from start to finish every time you have sex or do not have sex throughout the pregnancy. Sex includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
Women trying to get pregnant
· Before you or your partner travel, talk to your healthcare provider about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection.
· If you do travel to an area with Zika, you and your partner should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.