Because of presence of local transmission of Zika virus reported on the Eastern Caribbean island of Anguilla, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued a travel notice 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.
Because Zika virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes, CDC recommends that travelers to Anguilla protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Travelers to areas with cases of Zika virus infection 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 for Zika virus.
Sexual transmission of Zika virus from a male partner is also possible, so travelers are also encouraged to use condoms or not have sex.
Many people infected with Zika virus do not get sick. Among those who do develop symptoms, sickness is usually mild, with symptoms that last for several days to a week. Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder that can cause muscle weakness and paralysis for a few weeks to several months, is very likely triggered by Zika in a small proportion of infections, much as it is after a variety of other infections. Most people fully recover from GBS, but some have permanent damage.
CDC has received reports of Zika virus being spread by sexual contact 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 have a male partner who lives in or has traveled to an area with Zika, either use condoms, the right way, every time you have sex 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.