Tips for safe travel to countries with the Zika virus

Tips for safe travel to countries with the Zika virus

(KFVS) - Visiting friends and family in areas with the Zika virus requires taking special health precautions.

Currently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has documented the spread of Zika virus in nearly 50 countries and territories including Central and South Americas, and the Caribbean Islands.

To check if the country you may be visiting is experiencing the Zika virus, check the CDC's website.

Zika virus is primarily spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Follow these steps to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Use insect repellents that are registered with the EPA and contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-dio. Use as directed
  • Stay and sleep in a screened-in and air-conditioned room whenever possible. Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air-conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors

Zika virus can also pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus and can cause serious birth defects.

Pregnant women should not travel to any area with the Zika virus.

Additionally, Zika virus can be transmitted through anal, oral, and vaginal sex.

A man can pass Zika virus to his partner(s) even if he doesn't have symptoms at the time.

Condoms can reduce the chance of getting Zika virus from sex.

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