The South Pacific islands of New Caledonia has been added to the list of destinations in which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel notices due to ongoing Zika transmission.
New Caledonia joins American Samoa, Marshall Islands, Samoa and Tonga in the Pacific.
Travelers to areas where cases of Zika virus infection have been recently confirmed are at risk of being infected with the Zika virus. Mosquitoes that spread Zika are aggressive daytime biters. They also bite at night. There is no vaccine or medicine available for Zika virus. The best way to avoid Zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites.
Some travelers to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission will become infected while traveling but will not become sick until they return home and they might not have any symptoms. To help stop the spread of Zika, travelers may consider using insect repellent for three weeks after travel to prevent mosquito bites.
Some people who are infected do not have any symptoms. People who do have symptoms have reported fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Other commonly reported symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and the number of deaths is low. Travelers to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission should monitor for symptoms or illness upon return. If they become sick, they should tell their healthcare professional where they have traveled and when.
CDC has received reports of Zika virus being spread by sexual contact with ill returning travelers. Until more is known, CDC continues to recommend that pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant take the following precautions.
- Consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
- 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 have a male partner who lives in or has traveled to an area where Zika transmission is ongoing, either use condoms the right way, every time or do not have sex during your pregnancy
Women trying to get pregnant
- Before you or your male partner travel, talk to your healthcare provider about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection.
- You and your male partner should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has been reported in patients with probable Zika virus infection in several countries. Research efforts underway will also examine the link between Zika and GBS.