The Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy, or St. Barts, is the latest country or territory to report local transmission of Zika virus. Local mosquito transmission means that mosquitoes in the area are infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people.
This has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for the popular tourist and vacation destination.
CDC recommends that travelers to Saint Barthelemy protect themselves from 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. The sickness is usually mild with symptoms that last from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and the number of deaths is low. 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 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.
Pregnant women should not travel to any area with Zika, the federal health agency advises. 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.
As of 4 May 2016, 57 countries and territories report continuing mosquito-borne transmission; for 44 countries this is their first documented Zika virus outbreak.